Jonathan Aarons M.D.

Tired of Chronic Pain?

Migraine Headaches

Migraine Headaches compared to other common headaches

Migraine headache is a very common type of chronic headache.  It usually occurs on one side of the head, usually around or behind the eye.  It usually begins before age 30.  Attacks may be frequent or only occurs every few months.  A majority of migraine sufferers are female.  They often have a meticulous compulsive personality with difficulty coping with daily stress.  Triggers of a migraine attack may include changes in sleep or diet, as well as birth control pills and the onset of menstruation.  Migraineurs may experience an aura, which is a painless neurologic phenomenon that occurs prior to the attacks.  The onset is fairly rapid and is associated with symptoms including nausea and photophobia.   MRI scans and laboratory studies are useful to exclude other causes of headache, including intracranial pathology, sinusitis, temporal arteritis and inflammatory conditions.  The treatment of migraine depends on the frequency and severity of the headaches.  Abortive therapy is used to stop an migraine at the earliest sign.They include such medications as Midrin, non-steroidal anti-inflammatories(NSAIDs), caffeine containing preparations and the triptans.  More frequently occurring headaches are treated with prophylactic therapy.  These may include bet-blockers such as propanolol, calcium channel blockers and tricyclic anti-depressants. There are many different types of migraines and treatments for migraine disorders.  Patients with difficult to treat migraine headaches should seek the help of a neurologist or pain management physician to aid in the diagnosis and treatment.


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