Preventing and treating migraines can be a challenge, but medication is one way that the condition is addressed. Migraine pain can be debilitating, and it’s crucial that you know effective ways to cope with your condition when you have an episode. Apart from medications, lifestyle changes that contribute to optimal health can also help to limit migraine frequency and severity. Sometimes, what’s best for your migraine may be a combination of things, including medication, lifestyle choices, and behavioral changes.
Symptoms of Migraines
Migraine symptoms may present themselves differently and can be experienced in stages.
Just a few days before a migraine attack, you may experience:
- Feelings of depression, briefly
- Moodiness and crankiness
- Diminished appetite
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
- Frequent yawning
- Frequent urination
Aura symptoms begin slowly and build up, occurring right before or during a headache and can last for up to an hour. Symptoms include:
- Flashing lights
- Zig-zag or wavy lines, or blind spots
- Vision loss
- Tingling in an arm or leg
- Weakness or numbness on one side of your body
- Difficulty to talk
- Uncontrollable movement
Headaches that feature intense pulsing and throbbing pain affect one side of your head or an eye and can last between 4 and 72 hours.
- Extreme light sensitivity
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitive to smells, sounds, and touch
- Lightheadedness or faint
- Blurred vision
Twenty-four hours after the headache has ended, certain symptoms may manifest. This includes,
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Ways to Help Migraines
Retreat to a Calm Space
Once your migraine sets in, take a step back from whatever you are doing and get to a place where it’s calm. This will ease your mind and put you in a relaxed state. Dimming the lights or turning them off altogether, as well as getting out of a noisy space, can reduce sensitivity and the severity of your migraine. Quiet and dark is the calm that you need.
Get Some Sleep if Possible
Migraines may prevent you from getting a good night’s rest, and a lack of sleep or poor sleeping pattern can trigger migraines. To help you get sound sleep:
- Have a regular sleep schedule and stick to it.
- Keep day naps short, between 20 and 30 minutes, to prevent disruption of your nighttime slumber.
- Make it a priority to do the things that promote relaxation at the end of the day and allow for a better night’s sleep, like reading a good book, listening to soft music, or a warm tub soak.
- Stay away from alcohol, heavy meals, caffeine, nicotine, and intense workout before bed.
To relieve some of the symptoms of your migraine, temperature therapy could be an effective option. It involves applying hot or cold compresses to your head or neck, where the ice works to reduce pain, and the heat relaxes tension in the muscles.
Watch How You Eat and What You Eat
Consume your meals at roughly the same time each day. Avoid skipping meals which can increase your risk of migraines. Watch out for potential food triggers by observing your experiences consuming different foods. Certain foods, like alcohol, aged cheese, caffeine, or chocolate, are known to be migraine triggers in some people.
Migraines can be prevented if you know your triggers and take steps to minimize your risk of migraine attacks. Knowing how to treat the symptoms of your migraine can help to reduce head pain, for example. Visit AFC Urgent Care Louisville & Boulder if you have migraine-related questions.