Living with migraine -
Living with migraine
Posted 27 Dec 2016 01:20 PM

Living with migraine can be quite challenging. It can throw you off control without any warning and ruin all your plans in a jiffy! Migraines are a leading cause of debility around the globe. Because of the paralyzing nature of migraines, they often disrupt normal daily activities. Migraine attacks can begin suddenly, cause a wide range of symptoms and last for days. They affect the quality of your life, your performance in school, work and also act as a huge dampener in your personal life too.
Understanding migraine
– Migraine headaches are extremely painful and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, intolerance to sound and light and vision changes. Every individual experiences them differently and with different associated symptoms.
– The onset of the headache could be sudden in some and gradual in some. Some people are rendered completely incapacitated within minutes, where as in some people it could take a few hours.
– Migraine symptoms could last for anywhere between a few hours to a few days. There have been cases where people have reported having the headache for 72 hours!
– The frequency of the attacks could vary from person to person. They come more often in some people and less often in others. In severe cases close to half the month could go ‘with a headache’ rather than ‘without’!
– Migraines are caused due to dilatation of blood vessels in our brain. However, why these blood vessels dilate in not known. There are several theories about why these blood vessels dilate, but no definitive cause is known.
– Some people find that their migraine can be triggered by various things including hormonal changes, certain foods, allergies, stress, strong odours, caffeine, change in sleep patterns, medications and weather changes.
– Migraines have four distinct phases: Prodrome, Aura, Headache, Postdrome. Not everyone will experience a headache in these 4 phases and the duration and nature of each phase differs in every individual.
The part most people are familiar with is the third phase, which is the most painful.
The impact of migraine
People with chronic migraines report a lower quality of life. They often have sleep troubles, miss days at work and school because of headaches, land up backing out of social engagements often and tend to have lesser energy and zest than those who do not suffer from migraines.
So large is the effect of chronic migraine on some people that they actually live in worry and fear of the next attack. They tend to curb their activities, eat cautiously or be on the edge in anticipation of a migraine attack. It is almost like they are unable to live their life to the fullest.
Their relationships also tend to suffer because of this ailment. Their partners, family members and friends often feel irritated or annoyed by this health problem. Stress and misunderstandings build-up in relationships when the other partner in unable to understand the severity of the ailment and it also affects the spontaneity in relationships.
Occasionally, if the migraines are too severe, it can even push the person towards developing depression.
That is why getting help and the right kind of treatment is imperative.
Helping migraine
Taking some time to understand this complex neurological condition may help you to live with migraine and enable you to handle the acute attacks more effectively.
Learn everything you can about migraines. Consult as many doctors, headache specialists, neurosurgeons as you like and make sure all your questions, myths and facts are answered.
Try and recognize what triggers the migraine attacks. Keep a “Headache Diary” to help you pin point the triggers of the migraine pain. Once you are sure of the triggers, avoiding the triggers will become easier.
Try to exercise at least 4 times a week. Aerobic or cardiovascular exercises help in reducing migraine attack by decreasing stress and tension.
Exercise dietary control and avoid the known dietary triggers as far as possible – such as caffeine, alcohol and any other food or drink you feel triggers an attack.
There are several treatment options available that can prevent migraine attacks, make them less frequent, stop symptoms once they’ve started or at least make the symptoms less severe. Some of the medications are good headache relievers, some are given for the associated symptoms and some migraine medications are designed to be taken on a regular basis in an effort to prevent migraine attacks from coming.

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