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Causes and Treatments of Migraine Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common medical complaints; everyone will more than likely experience them at one point in their life. They can affect anyone regardless of their age, gender, or race. Studies have found that nearly half of adults worldwide will experience a headache at least once a year.

A migraine is a form of a primary headache and can have a severe impact on a person’s life. Migraines can not only affect a person’s health but can also lead to other problems that make it challenging to attend work or school regularly. It has been reported that migraines are the sixth cause of missed days from work or school worldwide. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to two to three days.

Many people describe all headaches as migraines, but there are specific signs used to identify a migraine. Being able to tell the difference between a migraine and headache is crucial because it provides faster relief through specialized treatments. The best way to differentiate a headache from a migraine is the pain level. Migraines are more intense and severe compared to headaches. Here are a few signs to look out for when trying to decide if your headache is a migraine:
• Eye pain
• Neck pain
• Numbness or tingling
• Activity worsening the pain
• Trouble speaking
• Weakness on one side of your body

The exact causes of migraines have yet to be understood, but genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role. A migraine causes extreme pain that usually comes with sensitivity to light, sound, or smells. A migraine is a specific type of a headache that is a result of specific changes in the brain. An example of a change in the brain that could cause a migraine is an imbalance in brain chemicals such as a drop in your serotonin levels. Serotonin helps regulate pain in your nervous system. A migraine may cause a throbbing, pulsating pain that typically occurs on only one side of your head. The pain in your head is usually accompanied by:
• Nausea
• Blurred vision
• Light-headedness
• Auras (sensory disturbances)

The treatment for migraines varies from person to person and depends on how frequently the symptoms occur and how long they last. There are various migraine medications or other home remedies and alternative treatments. The most common way to treat migraines is pain relief medication. If over the counter pain relief medication doesn’t work, doctors can prescribe preventative medications to take when you begin to feel a migraine coming. These are few prescription medications:
• Tricyclic antidepressants
• Serotonin receptors agonists
• Anti-epileptic drugs
• Beta-blocker

There are also alternative treatments used for treating migraines, such as:
• Acupuncture
• Cognitive Behavior Therapy
• Herbal and Nutritional Health Products
• Hypnosis
• Meditation
Along with medication and alternative treatments, there are also home remedies that are used to treat headaches. Here are a few steps that can be taken to prevent migraines from occurring and ease the pain if they do happen:
1. Apply an ice pack or heat pack to your head or neck.
2. Eat regular meals to maintain stable blood sugar.
3. Avoid stressors, if possible, and come up with a healthy coping strategy for unavoidable stress.
4. Take a hot shower.

A doctor will usually be able to diagnose your symptoms if given a proper description of the kind of pain and, the timing/pattern of the headaches. If you are suffering from extreme headaches or migraines in San Antonio, Gonzaba Urgent Care is here to provide you with treatment! Our team of trained professionals will assist you in diagnosing the type of headache you have and deciding the best treatment option for you. Give us a call at (210) 921-6600 or visit our website to find out more information!

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