How to Care for Yourself during a Migraine

How to Care for Yourself during a Migraine

A common issue in the United States is that people suffering from problems are unwilling to go to the emergency room because they are worried about wasting resources, being a burden on the doctors, or incurring immense expenses. However, sometimes emergency care is necessary, especially for conditions like headaches or the dreaded migraine.

What Is a Migraine?

Migraines are intense headaches often accompanied by symptoms like pounding in the head, intense nausea or lightheadedness, dizziness, trouble hearing or seeing, and sensitivity to light and sound. Although doctors are still trying to determine the exact cause of these headaches, many now believe they are triggered by neural pathways and a slight chemical imbalance in the brain.

Whatever the case may be, migraines tend to be chronic, meaning sufferers have to learn to care for themselves when experiencing them. This article focuses on some of the best ways to implement at-home care, but also discusses when you should see an ER instead of relying on yourself to see you through the pain.

Regular At-Home Care

Most people who suffer from migraines know when they are starting. Some individuals will experience visual phenomenon known as auras, which are sensory disturbances. For example, someone with regular migraines might experience tunnel vision shortly before the pain starts, or they will see gray lines, blurs, or even rainbows when there are none.

At the first sign of a migraine, whether it involves auras or not, it is important to immediately spring into action and start caring for yourself. For many, this means avoiding situations and locations that can trigger the pain and make it worse. If you are someone who is upset by light, then draw the curtains and create a safe space in your bedroom where it is dim or dark. If sound bothers you, avoid going outside, watching TV, or playing loud video games. Earplugs or noise cancelling headphones can make all of the difference.

Other Beneficial Habits

Besides these basics, reducing stress, changing your diet, getting enough sleep, and even exercising can help. People who are stressed and out of shape experience more migraines than those who are relaxed and fit. Consider setting aside work and homework for a few days, meditating, or doing yoga to keep stress down. Go for runs on a regular basis, and try to stay physically active.

When it comes to eating and sleeping, migraine sufferers always struggle. One of the worst things you can do for yourself when you have a headache is not eating and staying awake all night. Try to eat healthy foods like chicken breast, fish, and fresh vegetables. Go to sleep in a cool, dark room. If you struggle to sleep, minimize distractions and avoid caffeine.

Finally, know when it’s time to take a painkiller or similar medication. Medicine designed to reduce migraine pain are most effective when taken before the brunt of the pain begins. Once you have experienced the warning signs of the migraine, take your medicine as a precaution and prepare your headache room.

Know When to Go to an Emergency Room

Although chronic migraine sufferers might not think an ER can do much for them, it is essential to visit a doctor if you are experiencing symptoms that are unusual for you. For example, if you never have auras but are starting to see strange visual phenomena during your migraine, head to the ER immediately. It’s crucial to determine whether or not you are experiencing another serious problem such as meningitis, concussion, or even a brain aneurism or stroke.

You can also visit the ER if you are experiencing a migraine that has been ongoing for a week or longer. When a headache lasts this long, it is often a sign of an underlying issue. Similar to the examples above where you have unusual symptoms, having a long lasting migraine or severe headache can be a sign of a more serious health condition like an aneurism or stroke.

If you’re seeking migraine care in Lumberton, TX, consider visiting Altus Emergency Care. This ER near you is in the 77657 zip code and accepts patients struggling with migraines that are painful, long lasting, and could cause lasting health problems for you.

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