What Are Migraines and How Can You Cope?

Jennifer Bonn

Photo byJennifer Bonn

Migraines affect over two billion people worldwide. They are more than just a headache, and they come in a variety of forms. Migraines can be disabling with a throbbing pain in the head often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. They can also come with auras that cloud the vision with wavy, silvery waves of light. The frequency and severity of migraines differ from person to person.

The cause of migraines also varies, and a migraine can be triggered by certain food and drinks, especially alcohol, caffeine, and salty foods. It can be caused by changes in the weather, certain lights or sounds, or strong smells. Stress can cause a migraine as well as menstruation or hormonal changes. Irregular sleep and certain medications can also be the culprits.

My migraines started when I was fifty-two. At first, I would have migraines with auras, and once I had to stop in the middle of teaching a class at the university and call my husband to pick me up because my vision was so affected. Because my vision was affected I thought I might need glasses. I went to the eye doctor who said I had a stigmatism in one eye, so he prescribed me glasses. After not wearing glasses for fifty-two years, I couldn’t get used to them, so I used reading glasses to read and put the prescription glasses in the case.

As the migraines continued I noticed they only happened around the time of my period. My doctor had suggested I stay on the pill until I was sixty and then I would stop taking it. I told him I thought my body was fighting the periods and was ready to go through menopause. I stopped taking the pill and the migraines stopped. I now have them infrequently, and they are almost all related to changes in the weather.

When I have a migraine the first symptom is a feeling of malaise. I’m not sick, but I feel off and the idea of lying down and closing my eyes sounds amazing. Next comes the pain which for me comes in waves, usually on one side of my head. It often is behind my eyes as well. The migraines incapacitate me. I physically cannot continue, and I have to lie down.

I also want to mention my most recent migraine in case anyone has had this happen. This time, the headache hit me like a train without warning. As I sat in the kitchen sipping coffee with the lights off and sunglasses on, tears started streaming down my cheeks. I’m not sure I could be any happier, so I said to my husband, “What in the world is happening right now?” Of course, he thought he had done something to cause the tears, so I had to assure him that everything was o.k. I am pretty sure this was a rare (for me) hormone headache.

After the migraine is over you will have what is often referred to as a migraine hangover. You are tired, and still not feeling yourself, and you might want to take it easy.

Here are a few ideas for relief that I hope help you.

Turn out the lights.

Put on sunglasses.

Drink a Coke or other caffeine.

Put on a cold eye mask.

Lie down somewhere dark and quiet.

There are medications you can get from your doctor.

Drink plenty of water.

Talk to your doctor about managing your migraines and go to the hospital if you have a headache with fever, stiff neck, confusion, seizures, double vision, numbness, or weakness in any part of the body, which could be a sign of a stroke.

This is original content from NewsBreak’s Creator Program. Join today to publish and share your own content.

Comments / 0

Published by

I am passionate about running, parenting, education, and self-help information. I enjoy writing articles that will offer readers the information needed to help them in some way. I recently retired from teaching French and Spanish for forty years. I run every day and have done all kinds of races from 5ks to ultra-marathons. I have three children and three grandchildren. I write for several magazines in my area, I am a contributor and in charge of the Pinterest board for a parenting magazine called Screamin Mamas, and I have a second book about to be released through Loving, Healing Press called 101 Tips to Ease Your Burdens.

Kennesaw, GA

More from Jennifer Bonn

Comments / 0