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Sunday, 17 July 2016 22:46

Tips For Heading Off Migraines

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Migraines often cause intense throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on just one side of the head. It's usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. An attack can last for hours or even days, causing debilitating pain. Early warning symptoms known as aura may occur before or during a headache. You may experience flashes of light, blind spots, or tingling on one side of the face or in your arm or leg.

The Mayo Clinic offers these steps to head off migraine pain.

Find a Calm Environment

  1. Turn off the lights. Migraines often increase sensitivity to light and sound. Relax in a dark, quiet room. Sleep if you can.
  2. Try temperature therapy. Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck. Ice packs have a numbing effect, which may dull the sensation of pain. Hot packs and heating pads can relax tense muscles. Warm showers or baths may have a similar effect.
  3. Drink a caffeinated beverage. In small amounts, caffeine alone can relieve migraine pain in the early stages or enhance the pain-reducing effects of acetaminophen (Tylenol, others) and aspirin.

Sleep

Migraines are often triggered by a poor night's sleep. Here are some tips to encourage sound sleep.

  1. Establish regular sleep hours. Wake up and go to bed at the same time every day — even on weekends. If you nap during the day, keep it short. Naps longer than 20 to 30 minutes may interfere with nighttime sleep.
  2. Unwind at the end of the day. Anything that helps you relax can promote better sleep: listen to soothing music, soak in a warm bath or read a favorite book.
  3. Watch what you eat and drink before bedtime. Intense exercise, heavy meals, caffeine, nicotine and alcohol can interfere with sleep.
  4. Minimize distractions. Save your bedroom for sleep and intimacy. Don't watch television or take work materials to bed. Close your bedroom door. Use a fan to muffle distracting noises.
  5. Don't try to sleep. The harder you try to sleep, the more awake you'll feel. If you can't fall asleep, read or do another quiet activity until you become drowsy.
  6. Check your medications. Medications that contain caffeine or other stimulants — including some medications to treat migraines — may interfere with sleep.

Eat Wisely

Your eating habits can influence your migraines. Consider the basics:

  1. Be consistent. Eat at about the same time every day.
  2. Don't skip meals. Fasting increases the risk of migraines.
  3. Keep a food journal. Keeping track of the foods you eat and when you experience migraines can help identify potential food triggers.
  4. Avoid foods that trigger migraines. If you suspect that a certain food — such as aged cheese, chocolate, caffeine or alcohol — is triggering your migraines, eliminate it from your diet to see what happens.

Medications can help prevent some migraines and make them less painful. Talk to your doctor about different migraine treatment options if you can't find relief. The right medicines, combined with self-help remedies and lifestyle changes, may help.
Read 1483 times Last modified on Sunday, 17 July 2016 23:29
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