Migraine myths: Here are things YOU must know | The Financial Express

Migraine myths: Here are things YOU must know

While headaches usually have a single cause, migraines have multiple triggers without any specific cause

Migraine myths: Here are things YOU must know
If one parent suffers from a migraine, there is a 50% chance that their child will as well.

Dr P N Renjen

Headache is a very common symptom, and headache disorders are among the most common nervous system disorders, with a 48.9% prevalence in the general population. Thus, the majority of people associate migraine with severe headaches. However, headaches are only one symptom of migraines, and their severity and duration may vary. Changes in brain activity can impact blood flow in the brain and surrounding tissues, resulting in a variety of symptoms. Migraine sufferers may experience some or all of the following symptoms in addition to severe head pain:

  • l Nausea
  • l Heightened sensitivity to light, sound, or odours
  • l Dizziness
  • l Extreme fatigue

While headaches usually have a single cause, migraines have multiple triggers without any specific cause. Migraines can be triggered by hormonal shifts, allergies, genetics, and family history. Changes in weather, stress, food, smells, and a lack of sleep are also some common triggers.

At which age can migraine start?

Migraines can start at any age, but they are most common during adolescence. Migraines typically peak in your 30s and gradually become less severe and less frequent over the next several decades. Migraines are known to run in families.

If one parent suffers from a migraine, there is a 50% chance that their child will as well. If both parents suffer from it, the chances are nearly 90%.

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Do home remedies like balms and chewing curry leaves help? Are OTC pills like aspirin recommended?

No. More than anything else, they may help psychologically. OTC pills should be discouraged in migraine because migraine could be the manifestation of underlying brain diseases AVM and aneurysms.

The first line of migraine treatment is NSAIDS and then comes migraine prevention. Overuse of ibuprofen can cause rebound headaches. Certainly, migraine can be prevented and lessened in  intensity to improve quality of life. Migraine is a symptom of underlying stress and strain too.

It’s critical to understand the distinctions between prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as when to ask your doctor to switch you from over-the-counter treatments to something stronger. When it comes to migraines, NSAIDS—or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs—are the first line of treatment. These include ibuprofen, which is sold under the brand names Motrin and Advil, and naproxen, which is sold under the brand name Aleve.

Can a migraine be prevented or lessened in intensity when the headache starts?

While you cannot change your genetics, you can influence some of the factors that cause a headache or migraine. Here are some expert tips for preventing headaches and migraines:

  • l Switch off the lights: Light and sound can aggravate migraine pain. Relax in a quiet, dark room. If you can, try to sleep.
  • l Attempt temperature therapy: Compress your head or neck with hot or cold compresses. Ice packs have a numbing effect that may alleviate pain. Tense muscles can be relieved with hot packs and heating pads. Warm showers or baths may also have the same effect.
  • l Drink something caffeinated: Caffeine, in small doses, can relieve migraine pain in the early stages. Caffeine may also enhance the pain-relieving effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol and other pain relievers) and aspirin.
  • l Establish consistent sleeping hours: Every day, even on weekends, get up and go to bed at the same time. If you must nap during the day, keep it brief. Naps lasting more than 20 to 30 minutes may disrupt nighttime sleep.
  • l Foods that cause migraines should be avoided: If you suspect that a particular food is causing migraines, try eliminating it from your diet to see what happens. Aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine, and alcohol are examples of these foods.
  • l Make your life easier: Don’t try to cram more activities or chores into your day. Instead, figure out how to leave some things out.

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First published on: 06-11-2022 at 01:45 IST