Managing Your Migraines
Did you know that nearly 40 million Americans are affected by migraine?
The chronic condition can cause debilitating symptoms and deserves compassion. In recognition of National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month this June, we want to help people who experience migraine identify triggers and find resources to manage symptoms and live full lives.
You can feel it coming on – throbbing head pain, light sensitivity, and zigzags in your vision – and soon it’s confirmed, migraine hits again.
Migraine is not just a bad headache. It’s a chronic condition that causes debilitating head pain that interferes with your ability to function normally. While it presents differently for everyone, some symptoms include throbbing pain, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, numbness, or auras (visual disturbances that present as zigzag lines, loss of vision, or flashing lights).
One thing is for sure, migraine is so impactful it can interrupt your daily life. It can even cause you to frequently miss school, work, or social events.
While it may feel that you’re alone in this suffering, know that more than 1 in 4 American households experience migraine. It’s most common in people between ages 20 to 50 years old and is three times more likely to affect women than men.
Even with its prevalence, there is no one cure for migraine. But that doesn’t mean you need to suffer in silence. Now is the time to speak up, educate yourself, and seek care. Understanding your triggers and working closely with a healthcare professional can help you manage symptoms – and it might just change your life.
Understanding your triggers
What triggers migraine differs for everyone, but there may be a common thread or root cause consistent across your experiences.
Here are some frequently reported triggers to keep in mind:
- Bright light or glare
- Weather changes
- Changes in routine
- Skipping meals
- Lack of sleep
- Loud sounds
- Strong smells
- Hormonal changes
- Menstrual cycles
It can be helpful to keep a notebook with details on time, location, activity, diet, and other environmental factors when you feel migraine coming on. Reviewing this information as well as your health history with a primary care provider can help you better control your migraines.
Beyond understanding your triggers, there are medication and treatment options to help reduce the number or severity of migraines. Together with your healthcare provider, you can create a plan to manage symptoms by addressing root causes in the short and long term.
If you’re experiencing migraine, reach out to the Exemplar Care team for support – you don’t need to suffer alone!