If you’ve ever experienced a migraine, then you know it’s a lot more than just a really bad headache. Along with throbbing head pain, migraines encompass a myriad of other symptoms, such as light, sound, taste, and smell sensitivity, visual experiences like auras, and physical symptoms like nausea, vomiting, dizziness, and even numbness or tingling in the extremities. For all the research that has been done on them, medical scientists still haven’t come up with a cure for migraines.
Medication is available, but not perfect. Check out these five ways to help when you’re experiencing a migraine.
Find A Retreat
When you feel a migraine coming on, a good first move is to retreat to a quiet, dark, comfortable place to rest. Minimizing sensory assaults may help stop the migraine from progressing into severity if you catch it early enough.
Use An Ice Pack
If you’re a migraine sufferer, you should always have an ice pack ready in your freezer. A bead-filled pack works best, as do bags of frozen corn or peas, because they can be molded as needed. Place the ice pack on your head or on the back of your neck to bring a measure of relief by dulling or numbing the pain.
Get Some Sleep
Research has shown that good sleep habits tend to reduce the intensity as well as the frequency of migraines, so logging in a solid eight hours is a good first defense. Several types of sleep interruptions, such as work-shift changes, jet lag, lack of sleep, or even too much sleep, have been associated with some sufferers as triggers for their migraines.
If you’re in the midst of a migraine, taking a nap is a great medication, if you can manage it.
Anybody who skips a meal might develop a headache, but migraine sufferers are particularly sensitive to drops in blood sugar. Going without food for more than five hours can trigger a debilitating episode.
Make sure you eat regular meals and keep healthy snacks on you at all times to keep that migraine at bay.
Keep A Migraine Diary
Migraines often have very specific triggers. Menstrual migraines are triggered by a particular hormone fluctuation during a woman’s monthly cycle. Certain foods, like caffeine, alcohol, and chocolate, can bring on a migraine. Other triggers include:
- Bright lights
- Strong smells
- Changes in barometric pressure
- Certain medications
- Food additives
- Physical or sexual activity
To better manage your migraines, it helps to keep a journal. Keeping track of your migraines as well as your sleeping, eating, menstrual, and exercise patterns may help uncover a trigger of which you were not previously aware.