Healthy Living

Migraines Getting You Down? Try These Prevention Tips

Sep 3 2019

Check out these migraine prevention tips from Jesse McClain, DNP, a Mercy Health neurologist.

When it comes to migraines, it is important to learn what they are, how to prevent them, and when to seek medical attention.

Migraine vs. Headache

Headache is usually a simple pressure or pain in your head. They can be mild to severe, but headaches usually encompass both sides of the head.

Migraines usually cause more of a throbbing sensation and target one side of the head. Migraines can also trigger symptoms such as sensitivity to light, dizziness, nausea and vomiting.

According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraines are the third most prevalent illness worldwide.

“One of the dangers of migraines is that they are linked to several other health conditions,” says Dr. McClain. “In fact, those that experience migraines develop higher risks for other health conditions.”

Some of these conditions include heart disease, depression and stroke. Thus, it is important to seek advice from your doctor or see a neurologist if you are experiencing consistent migraines.

How can I prevent migraines?

Simple lifestyle changes can help limit migraines. Getting enough sleep, maintaining good hygiene, eating healthy food, and staying active are a few habits that go a long way. Additionally, limiting time looking at the TV, phone and computer screens can help as well.

“I usually have my patients start a headache journal,” says Dr. McClain. “I have them record things like stress levels and eating certain foods. When you log these things, sometimes we can then pick up on a pattern.”

Identifying your personal triggers and then trying to avoid them can help limit your migraines.

There are also pharmacological options when it comes to preventing migraines. Certain medicines can be prescribed to prevent or reduce the frequency of a migraine. Talk with your doctor about this option and whether medicine is right for you.

When should I seek help?

With migraines, it always best to seek medical attention so a doctor can diagnose you and help you manage your symptoms. A major health concern to be aware of is getting strong, consistent migraines, especially if you do not usually experience them.

“This could mean a ruptured aneurysm, or bleeding on the brain. And that would be something that needs medical attention immediately,” says Dr. McClain.

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