There it is again. That crazy painful migraine that likes to ruin your day. No matter where you are or what you’re doing, there just isn’t a way to stop it once it’s started. Everyone that’s ever had one knows just exactly how horrible migraines truly are.
There are different types of migraines but the most uncommon form of a migraine is a migraine with aura. Not many people understand just how unlucky, or rather lucky, people with these types of migraines are. Depending on your perspective, these migraines could be better than or normal migraine, or 10 times worse.
What is a Migraine Aura?
Have you ever experienced the symptoms of a migraine before the migraine itself actually hits you? That’s called a Migraine aura. It’s the symptoms of a migraine such as dizziness, sensitivity to light, and ringing in your ears. It’s the same thing that happens to people who have epilepsy right before they have a seizure. The actual definition of an aura when its used in these terms is; a subjective sensation, like seeing lights experienced before an attack of some disorders such as epilepsy or a migraine.
How common are Migraines with Auras?
Migraines with auras are the cause of less than 19% of the migraines that people experience throughout the world. Typically, people who are overweight and have a certain genetic code are more at risk to experience migraines with Auras.
The symptoms of a Migraine with Aura
The symptoms of the migraine itself remains the same as any other migraine but the symptoms of the aura include; Blind spots, seeing zigzag patterns, ringing in ears, sensitivity to light, and seeing flashing lights that aren’t there.
How are Migraines with Aura Diagnosed?
A doctor who suspects migraines with aura will typically rule out any more serious injury or illness such as a transient ischemic attack and will most likely want to do multiple tests. The test usually include an eye exam, an MRI, a CT scan, and blood tests. After the doctor has ruled out any serious causes for your symptoms, he will most likely diagnose you with migraine auras.
How are Migraines with Aura Treated?
Migraines with Aura are treated very similarly to normal migraines. Doctors recommend that you lie down in a dark or dimly lit area and use cold compresses or pressure on the affected areas. They are also able to prescribe a number of medications that are known to effectively help prevent future attacks such as Beta-blockers, Antidepressants, Ergot derivatives, Antihistamines, and Anticonvulsants.
Scientists have even created a portable device for adults over the age of 18 that is similar to that of a tens unit that you wear around your head like a headband and sends electrical pulses to the trigeminal nerve which is known to be associated with migraines.
Just as with a normal migraine, you should also keep a migraine diary. To keep a migraine diary, you simply record the time and place when your migraine began, what you were doing when it began, and what you ate and drank that day. After you have recorded the instances for a few weeks, you may be able to see a pattern in the migraines to help you better understand what it is that is causing your migraines. Once you’ve found the cause behind your migraine, it is possible to, over time, eliminate the migraines altogether.
What are the Triggers of a Migraine?
There are different things can trigger a migraine. From food to medicine, everything seems to be at risk of being the cause for your migraines. Even things such as the weather pattern and temperature can come into play. Here are some of the most common triggers for migraines:
Some of the food associated with causing migraines are; Chocolate, Cheese, Red wine, Citrus fruit, Bananas, Raisins, Plums, Food preservatives, and Ice cream or other cold foods.
Some prescription medications are also known to be the cause of migraines in some people. These include but are not limited to; Cimetidine, Estrogen, Nitroglycerin, Ranitidine, and Reserpine.
There are also a lot of psychological triggers for migraines. Such as; grief, stress, depression, and anxiety. You can help eliminate these as triggers by eliminating the factors behind the causes of these triggers. Doing too much at once? Taking a break and relaxing for a little while could make all of the difference.
Physical triggers; illness, lack of sleep, lack of nutrition and food, too much sleep, too much food, and physical exertion can all be triggers for a migraine.
Even things as insignificant as the pattern on the wall can cause a migraine. These are called environmental triggers. It also included bright lights, sounds and smells.
What are some treatments for Migraine Auras?
If you feel the symptoms of a migraine coming on, you have an advantage. You can prepare yourself for the migraine that’s to come and hopefully be lying down in a dark room before it hits you. This could help lessen the severity of the migraine itself. However, there are numerous natural remedies that you can try to help alleviate your pain.
Peppermint and basil oil are good for tension related migraines. Lavender oil is good for migraines, as well and also helps with relaxations and stress relief. They can be used topically and through inhalation of the steams when combined with water. If you choose to inhale it, you simply add 2-4 drops of lavender oil for every 3 cups of boiling water and just breathe in the steam. Or you can apply the oil topically without the need to dilute it by simply rubbing the oil directly to you skin, generally the forehead and temple areas.
Dietary changes are good when the triggers of your migraine are caused by a particular food. You can determine if it is food related through your migraine diary and eliminating that particular food from your diet.
Massages are good for relieving the tension, pain, and pressure that you feel when you have a migraine. It’s generally better to rub the back of your head and the temples rather than directly to the painful area.
Feverfew is a flower that is known for reducing fever. However, it also has similar properties to aspirin so it helps to alleviate the pain from migraines. You can find it in most drug stores as a supplement pill.
Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 and fiber and can help with some of the symptoms of migraines as well. Though you have to remember to stay hydrated because its high fiber content will dehydrate you if you aren’t careful enough. You can find it as an oil or cook with it.
Using icepacks is a great way to relieve the inflammation of headaches and could help to reduce the severity of the pain.
Taking a nap is probably one of the best ways to relieve a migraine, or at least, some of the symptoms. Not only will it help with the symptoms, it’s also possible that you could sleep through the entire duration of the migraine. What better way to fight off a migraine than to take a nap and not even have to deal with the pain?
Remaining in a relaxed, stress-free environment is one of the most important things you can do if you have a migraine. Noise, light, and stress are some of the leading causes of migraines so if you eliminate those, it could help significantly.
Don’t over work yourself, if you have a former history of having headaches, know your cutoff points. Once you realize that doing multiple things at once can bring on a headache for you, then deal with one at a time. Try not to be reluctant to say, “no, I don’t have the energy to do this right now.” This is likewise an extraordinary approach to help alleviate your life of anxiety and stress.
Remember to always check with your doctor before trying any remedies for migraines and make sure you are officially diagnosed with migraines as well. Your doctor may also be able to prescribe your with some medicine that may work better than some of the remedies mentioned above.
No matter what kind of migraine you suffer from, we can all agree that any kind of migraine sucks. No one wants to get a sudden headache that can cause them to not be able to do anything for the rest of the day. No matter how you look at it, all migraines are treated about the same way. Find the trigger point and eliminate it. Once you’ve done that, you could possibly be in the clear, or at least, have managed to alleviate a major portion of your headaches.
By eating right, exercising, and living stress-free, you could significantly increase your chances of curing your migraine issue. Is that midnight trip to a fast food restaurant, or a week without exercise really worth the headache? Literally, I don’t think so.