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Understanding migraine symptoms and treatments

Raising awareness of migraines during National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month
Photo credit: / Dragana Gordic

For those who frequently experience migraines, the impact on daily life, mental health, and overall well-being can be significant. June, recognized as National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, shines a light on this debilitating neurological condition that affects at least 39 million Americans. Migraines are more than just headaches; they are a complex condition influenced by genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

Recognizing migraine symptoms

Identifying the symptoms of a migraine is crucial for management and treatment. Common indicators include:

  • Intense, moderate to severe head pain, often described as throbbing or pulsating.
  • Pain localized to one or both sides of the head, including around the eyes and cheeks.
  • Worsening pain with physical activity or movement.
  • Nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, noise, and smells.
  • Disruptions to daily activities such as school or work, lasting from four hours to several days.

Treatment options for migraine relief

There are two primary approaches to treating migraines: acute and preventive. Acute treatments are used during an attack to alleviate pain and prevent worsening symptoms. These may include over-the-counter pain relievers, prescription medications, or pain-preventing devices. Preventive treatments aim to reduce the frequency, severity, and duration of migraines and can involve medications, procedures, lifestyle adjustments, behavioral therapy, and physical therapy.

It’s essential for individuals who suffer from chronic migraines to seek medical advice for proper diagnosis and treatment planning.

During National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, it’s important to spread knowledge and understanding about migraines, encouraging those affected to seek help and educating others on the realities of living with this condition.

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