Migraine headaches are related to changes in blood flow to the brain. This causes throbbing or constant pain on one or both sides of the head, which may last from a few hours to several days. There is usually nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound, and blurred vision. A migraine attack may be triggered by emotional stress, hormone changes during the menstrual cycle, oral contraceptives, alcohol use, certain foods containing tyramine, eye strain, weather changes, missing meals, lack of sleep or oversleeping.
Follow These Instructions Carefully:
- If you were given pain medicine for this headache, go home and try to sleep. Sleep usually helps relieve migraines. When you wake up, you should be feeling much better.
- Drink only clear liquids until the nausea/vomiting has passed.
How To Prevent Headaches In The Future:
Pay attention to those factors that seem to trigger your headache. Try to avoid these when possible, If you have frequent headaches, it is useful to keep a diary of what you were doing, feeling, or eating in the hours before each attack. Show this to your doctor to help determine the cause of your headaches.
If you feel that stress is a factor in your headaches, identify the sources of stress in your life. Find ways to release the build-up of those stresses by using regular exercise, relaxation methods, or simply taking time-out for yourself. For more information about this, consult your doctor.
Tyramine is a substance present in the following foods; Chocolate in large amounts, all cheeses and yogurt, except cottage cheese and cream cheese. Smoked or pickled fish and meat (including: herring, caviar, bologna, pepperoni, salami), liver, avocados, bananas, figs, raisins, and red wine. Be aware that these foods may trigger a migraine in some persons. Try eliminating these foods from your diet for 1 to 2 months to see if this reduces headache frequency.
How To Treat Future Migraines:
- At the first sign of a headache, take time out if possible. Find a quiet comfortable place to sit or lie down and relax or sleep.
- An ice pack applied at the forehead or area of greatest pain may help, if you are having muscle spasm and tightness of the neck, a heating pad and massage to this area may be helpful.
- If you have been prescribed a medicine to stop a migraine headache (Imitrex, Ergostat, Caffergot and others), use this at the very first warning sign of the headache (aura or initial pain) for best results.
Follow up with your doctor or if the headache is not better within the next 24 hours. Persons with chronic recurring headaches should discuss a treatment plan with their personal doctor so you have medicine to take the next time this occurs. There is also preventative medication therapy available that may reduce the frequency of your headaches.
Contact your headache Doctor if you begin to have any of the following:
- Repeated vomiting (unable to keep liquids down)
- Sinus Pain, stiff neck or fever over 99.5
- Worsening of your head pain or no improvement within 24 hours.
- Weakness in the muscles of the face, arms or legs.
- Fainting, drowsiness or confusion
- Difficulty with vision, speech or walking.