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Migraines are an uncomfortable and painful experience for individuals who suffer from it, how to deal with it in the right way

 Migraines are an uncomfortable and painful experience for individuals who suffer from it, how to deal with it in the right way

Migraines are an uncomfortable and painful experience for individuals who suffer from it, how to deal with it in the right way 

Migraines are often an uncomfortable and distressing experience for individuals who experience them. In some cases, it can even interfere with an individual's daily activities. Since migraine is a condition for which there is no cure to this day, I have finally learned to adapt over the years to many habits that help me deal with it and its symptoms.

What is a migraine?

According to the Mayo Clinic (2021), a migraine is a neurological condition and a type of headache that typically presents as moderate or severe throbbing pain on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity of the senses - usually from light and sound. It usually lasts from 4 to 72 hours.

One of the important features of migraine headaches is the presence of an aura before or during attacks. These auras may be of different shapes, and vary from person to person. It might look like:

  • Visible phenomena in the form of bright spots, flashes of lights, lines, shapes, or various black spots.
  • Blurry vision for loss of vision.
  • Tingling feeling in one part of the body.
  • Numbness in the face or one side of the body.
  • difficulty speaking
  • Sensitivity to sensory stimuli such as light, sound and smell.
  • Most often, auras are followed by a migraine, but there are also cases in which there is a migraine without an aura, or there may be the presence of an aura without a migraine.

How do I deal with a migraine?

Since there is no cure for migraines, it is something to live with. This is a list of what you can do to relieve or reduce the symptoms of a migraine attack. It is important to note that none of the things mentioned here can be a substitute for a doctor's advice.

Let's first discuss preventing migraine attacks themselves. Unlike other types of headaches, migraines can have a variety of triggers before an attack. These triggers may include,

  1. hormonal changes; Women are more likely to get migraines than men. One of the main reasons is the hormonal changes that women may experience during their menstrual periods, pregnancy, or menopause. It's possible that hormonal changes are the reason some women experience moderate to severe headaches during their periods
  2. Stress. Psychosocial factors such as stress can also cause migraines. For example, one may experience a migraine while under a lot of stress at work or at home.
  3. Sensory stimuli. Exposure to intense stimuli such as loud music, strong smells, and strong or bright lights may trigger a migraine attack.
  4. physical exhaustion Vigorous physical activities may also trigger migraines.
  5. weather changes. Changes in weather or atmospheric pressure can be a factor that triggers a migraine. For example, if the weather changes from hot to cold.
  6. Sleep change. Changes in one's sleep pattern or lack of sleep can trigger migraines
  7. caffeine. Excess caffeine is also a factor that can trigger migraines.
  8. Food. Salty foods, cheese, and food additives are responsible for migraine headaches in some people.
  9. Avoid meals. Skipping a meal can be as responsible as some foods that can trigger migraines.
  10. pharmaceutical. Some medications may also trigger or worsen a migraine attack.

The factors that can trigger migraines may vary from person to person - one may be prone to migraines when the weather changes and not others.

Will this help prevent migraines?

Simply put, by knowing your migraine triggers, you may have a way to prevent it by avoiding the triggers as much as possible. If a certain type of food triggers your migraine, avoid eating that food or reduce your consumption. If it comes to lack of sleep, get enough sleep, etc. The best way to identify migraine triggers is by keeping track of your attacks using a migraine log or diary.

Now, avoiding triggers is not an absolute guarantee that migraines will be prevented all the time, and sometimes these triggers are unavoidable. If you have migraines, migraine attacks will still occur. Hence, let's continue with the things that help me reduce or stop my migraine symptoms.

2. Eating 

As mentioned earlier, certain foods and even skipping meals can trigger migraine attacks, but eating can also relieve migraines during an attack. It may be difficult to do anything during a moderate to severe migraine attack, and it may be difficult to eat due to nausea. But in reality, eating a meal can reduce or even alleviate a migraine. On the other hand, having something in the stomach will also facilitate vomiting due to nausea. Vomiting on an empty stomach is an unpleasant experience. An empty stomach can also exacerbate migraine symptoms. Sometimes, eating sweets also reduces the pain of migraine attacks.

3. Take a nap or say a few hours of sleep

Adequate sleep works wonders for the human body by promoting rest and recovery. Sleep is an effective way to relieve the pain and symptoms of some headaches.

4. Avoid noise

When an individual has a migraine attack, their senses are more sensitive than usual. The light in the house can be excruciatingly bright, the stereo can sound excruciatingly loud, and the usual smells that normally don't affect them can make you feel nauseous. The bottom line is that migraine symptoms get worse if the person's senses around them are stimulated. In this case, I tend to avoid stimulating noises around me by doing the following,

  • Going to a darkened room Lying down to rest in a darkened room usually helps reduce or even eliminate migraine symptoms. Most of the time, I immediately go into a dark room even with an aura. If it is impossible to get into a dark room, I use an eye cover as an alternative.  
  • Stay away from a noisy environment - Just like the idea of ​​a dark room, a quiet room is likely to be a less stimulating environment in terms of sound. A calm environment will not aggravate migraine symptoms, and will help relieve the pain.
  • Avoid strong smells Strong smells are the worst case of nausea. Avoiding them won't completely reduce your migraine symptoms, but it won't make them worse.

5. Nausea and vomiting 

Symptoms of migraine headaches are nausea and vomiting. Experts have not yet found a definitive explanation, but many people who suffer from migraines report feeling relief and relief from their migraines after vomiting.

Regardless of the explanation, vomiting may be unpleasant but feeling it can relieve a migraine. Hence, if you like to vomit during a migraine attack, vomit. Don't hold it. However, self vomiting is not recommended for many reasons, one of which has to do with oral health. The acid in the stomach can damage the teeth and even cause bad breath.

6. Take medicine

The last option is always medication for migraine headaches. If you can handle the pain and its symptoms, I'd rather you tolerate it and try to relieve it with the things mentioned earlier. However, some migraines are severe and intolerable, so taking medication becomes the option. For migraines, over-the-counter medications like:

  • ibuprofen;
  • paracetamol;

Other medications such as anti-nausea medications and medications for brain chemicals that can help with migraines may also work. If you prefer to take a migraine headache medication, it is best to consult your doctor to get a prescription that is effective for your condition.

What to expect after a migraine?

A migraine attack is the worst part, but that doesn't mean you're completely symptom-free. After a migraine attack, it is normal to feel tired and exhausted for several hours to a day. During this period, short pains may persist when you move your head. Not much can be done during this stage other than letting it pass. If you can, take the rest of the day to rest and take some time out from your usual activities. Take the opportunity to take good care of yourself.