Migraine is a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision.
WHAT CAUSES CHRONIC MIGRAINE
While no one knows exactly what causes migraines, there are certain things—lights, sounds, foods, and personal habits—that can trigger them. Triggers are different for everyone, and they can change over time. The good news? Knowing your triggers, and avoiding common ones, can be a way to help reduce the likelihood of headache days.
MIGRAINES CAN BE GENETIC.
Studies suggest that half the risk for migraine comes from our genes. If a parent has migraine, their children are more likely to suffer from migraines.
Common Migraine Triggers
- Food, drink & caffeine
- Missed meals, caffeine withdrawal, and alcohol consumption are all known to be migraine triggers.
- Changes in weather
- Weather—changes in humidity, temperature, and air pressure—is one of the most common migraine triggers, and one of the hardest to control.
- Changes in sleep
- Changes in sleeping habits—whether you’re sleeping too much or not enough—can trigger migraines.
- Migraines can occur during a period of anxiety or stress—but can also appear once the stress reduces and you’re more relaxed.
LIVING WITH CHRONIC MIGRAINE
Life with Chronic Migraine is a struggle. Instead of having a migraine every so often, Chronic Migraine means a life in which half of your time—or more—is spent living with headache days that include migraines.
WHAT IT MEANS TO LIVE WITH CHRONIC MIGRAINE
- People with Chronic Migraine have15 or more headache days a month
- When you have Chronic Migraine, each headache lasts 4 hours or more
- Chronic Migraine means at least8 headache days a month associated with migraine
CHRONIC MIGRAINE CAN BE TOUGH.
Migraines can include nausea and/or vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and changes in vision, sensations, speech—at least 8 days a month, every month.
TYPES OF TREATMENT
Most people living with Chronic Migraine take acute medications, treating when the headache or migraine hits. Research shows that virtually everyone with Chronic Migraine could be treated with a preventive medication—before a headache or migraine starts.
ACUTE VS. PREVENTIVE. WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE?
- Taken after migraine pain has already begun
- Available over the counter or by prescription
- Taken as needed
- Prevents headache days before they start
- Available by prescription
- Taken on a regular basis to reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks
Taking acute pain medications too often can lead to a condition called “Medication Overuse Headache”—which means additional headaches. That’s why it’s important to talk your doctor about all your medications.
WHY SEE A SPECIALIST
Living with Chronic Migraine is much more than getting a migraine every so often. That’s why it’s important to see someone who specializes in it—and not just when you’re first diagnosed. Even if you’ve seen a specialist in the past, don’t rule them out. Because they focus specifically on headache disorders, specialists are often the best people to help you figure out a treatment plan (even as you continue to see your primary care doctor).
WHAT SETS A HEADACHE SPECIALIST APART?
- Focus specifically on treating people with headaches and migraines
- Know that Chronic Migraine is a neurological condition (related to the brain)
- Are often the first to know about treatments for Chronic Migraine
Only 20% of people with Chronic Migraine are properly diagnosed, based on a study of 520. If you’re living with Chronic Migraine, you want to be sure you’re seeing the best person to help you manage it.
Information taken from (www.mychronicmigraine.com)