Published On: Mon, Feb 25th, 2013

How to cope with Migraine Headache – By Florence Udoh

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The main symptom of a migraine is a throbbing headache on one side of your head. You also may feel sick in your stomach and vomit. Activity, light, noise, or odours may make the migraine worse. The pain may move from one side of your head to the other, or you may feel it on both sides at the same time. However  different people have different symptoms  of migraines, says an expert, Dr. Roseline  Madueke,  a  medical  doctor with  May  Hospital, Ilasa,  Lagos.


Dr. Madueke, in an interview with Pharmanews, made known that some people have an aura before the migraine begins.  “When you have an aura, you may first see spots, wavy lines, or flashing lights. Your hands, arms, or face may tingle or feel numb. The aura usually starts about 30 minutes before the headache. But most people don’t have auras.”


Migraine Headache Overview


The migraine headaches is one of the most common problems seen in emergency departments and doctors’ offices. Migraines are due to changes in the brain and surrounding blood vessels.


Migraine headaches typically last from 4 to 72 hours and vary, in frequency, from daily to less than one per year.


Different types of migraine headaches

Common migraine accounts for 80% of migraines. There is no “aura” before a common migraine. People with classic migraines experience an aura before their headaches. Most often, an aura is a visual disturbance (outlines of lights or jagged light images). Classic migraines are usually much more severe than common migraines.


Status migrainosus is a migraine attack that lasts more than 72 hours.


She advises,  when  migraine   starts,  quickly   go  to  hospital,  but  however  while  waiting  to  go  to  hospital,  apply  the  following   remedies:

  • Use a cold compress on the area of pain
  • Rest with pillows comfortably supporting the head or neck
  • Rest in a room with little or no sensory stimulation (from light, sound, or odors)
  • Withdraw from stressful surroundings
  • Drink a moderate amount of caffeine
  • Try certain over-the-counter headache medications such as

◦Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS): These include medications like aspirin, ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), and naproxen. Stomach ulcers and bleeding are serious potential side effects. This type of medication should not be taken by anyone with a history of stomach bleeding.

◦Acetaminophen (Tylenol): Acetaminophen may be safely taken with NSAIDs for an additive effect. Taking acetaminophen by itself is usually safe, even with a history of stomach ulcers or bleeding. Acetaminophen should not be taken, if the migraineur has liver problems or has three or more alcoholic drinks a day.

◦Combination medications: Some over-the-counter pain relievers have been approved for use with migraine. These include Excedrin Migraine, which contains acetaminophen and aspirin combined with caffeine. A similar effect can be achieved by taking two aspirin or acetaminophen tablets with a cup of black coffee.

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How to cope with Migraine Headache – By Florence Udoh