What Is Most Surprising About Migraine Headaches?
Most people know about migraines, especially for their ability to cause debilitating symptoms like nausea and head pain. However, since the condition is highly misdiagnosed, it is essential to work with medical experts who have extensive knowledge of migraines, like the migraine specialist Risa Ravitz, MD of Modern Migraine MD. Migraines are one of the common reasons for recurrent severe headaches. It is best not to wait for the condition to go away or start self-medication without an expert diagnosis. Studies are still being conducted on the condition to advance ways of bringing relief, but the condition is still misunderstood by many. Here are some facts about migraines that will surprise you.
Migraines are Preventable
If you often experience migraine attacks, there is relief for you. Although the main aim of migraine treatment is to manage the symptoms right away, there is a way you can prevent future symptoms and attacks. Certain factors commonly trigger migraines, and your doctor will first aim to understand these factors. You can avoid or alternate the triggers to prevent a migraine attack in the future. A particular drug, Aimovig, was approved by FDA in 2018 as a preventative treatment for migraines. The drug is a monthly injection that prevents a migraine attack by blocking the activity of the migraine causing molecule. Botox injections are also FDA approved for chronic migraine prevention.
A Severe Tension Headache or Sinus Headache Can Be a Migraine
Although sinus inflammation or sinusitis is a common diagnosis, it does not typically cause headaches. It is unusual to experience a sinus headache. Therefore, most headaches in the sinus regions are migraines. Also, tension headaches are more common, but often mild, and do not require medical attention. Therefore, it is probably a migraine when the tension headache is bad enough that you need medical assistance.
Not Everyone Experiences Visual Disturbances When Enduring a Migraine
Migraine headache is commonly accompanied by visual disturbances, including blurry vision and flashing lights. However, these symptoms are rare, and only about 10% of migraine patients experience them. Nausea is also a common symptom of migraines but only occurs in about 15% of patients. Sensitivity to light and dizziness are also rare. Therefore, you can be suffering from a migraine without having visual disturbances.
Hunger is a Common Trigger of Migraines
Foods like cheese, dairy, chocolate, and citrus are often blamed for some cases of migraines. One of the ways to prevent migraines is avoiding triggers, but you ought to be careful with food triggers. You might go hungry trying to avoid a particular food trigger without understanding that hunger itself is, ironically, a significant migraine trigger. If you identify some food triggers, you should alternate them with other foods to avoid staying hungry. But remember that most food triggers are not supported by evidence, and you ought to work with your doctor to be sure about the reasons for your migraines.
Frequent Headaches are Not Normal
Some people experiencing frequent headaches tend to accept that daily headache are typical. This makes them rely on over-the-counter painkillers instead of seeking expert care. Remember that migraine headaches can be chronic, occurring for over 15 days a month, or episodic, which is less frequent. Always get expert help for frequent headaches and avoid self-treatment.
A severe or debilitating headache that becomes more frequent can be a migraine and require expert diagnosis and treatment. Get in touch with Dr. Ravitz for more information. You can schedule telemedicine or in-person appointments using the online booking feature.