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Migraines: What are they? How to treat them and when to see a doctor

Migraines: What are they? How to treat them and when to see a doctor

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Headache teaser

Migraines are severe headaches. Their severity varies from person to person. A migraine is typically accompanied with nausea and light sensitivity, and can last for hours or days. There are different types of migraine headaches an individual may experience.

First, what causes a migraine? Doctors still do not know exactly why a person gets migraines. They believe it is due to changes in the brain and an individual’s genes. They do know that women are three times more likely than men to experience migraines.

What are the symptoms? While the symptoms of migraines vary, there are stages to the onset of migraine symptoms. It is important to note that not everyone who gets migraines will experience all the stages.

Prodrome stage: Here, people can experience sensitivity to light, an in increase in thirst, food cravings and mood changes.

Aura stage: During this stage, people can experience a loss of vision with black dots or waves, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, prickling or tingling sensations and difficulty speaking.

Attack stage: People often feel a faint or clammy feeling during this stage, as well as a dull ache or throbbing pain, nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

Postdrome stage: During this final stage, people can feel fatigued or refreshed and elated feeling. People also experience a mild or dull headache.

Are there treatments available?

At this time, migraines are not able to be cured, but they can be managed. Learning to manage migraines can help an individual experience migraines and the symptoms less often. Some treatments that may be used are:

— Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.

— Lifestyle changes, such as avoiding triggers and managing stress.

— Prescription medications to ease migraine severity.

— Laying down in a dark room.

When should you or your child see a doctor?

If an individual experiences constant migraines, they should see a doctor. It is also important to keep a record of symptoms, including when they happen and what treatments were used. Having this information for your doctor will help determine the best plan of action to take.

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For more information about Boys Town Pediatrics, click here.

Omaha World-Herald: Momaha

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