How to cope with migraines

Tips for dealing with symptoms

By By Monica L. Garrett, Contributing writer
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Migraine headaches are difficult to cope with. These debilitating headaches can make performing normal activities impossible. Whenever possible, rest in a quiet and dark room with your eyes closed. Using an eye mask is also helpful. This will reduce the intensity of the migraine.


Prescription medication is normally required to treat migraines. This includes Imitrex, Maxalt, Relpax and other medications. These medications are prescribed by your physician after diagnosis of migraines is made. The diagnosis may include an MRI to rule out other problems.


Self-treatment of migraines after diagnosis may include migraine patches, caffeine, over the counter medications, topical medications, meditation and whenever possible, sleep.


If you are able to sleep, do so. You will be able to "sleep off" part of the migraine. Although migraines usually last for several hours and you are likely to wake up to find the migraine still exists, it may be less intense. Rest is important to reduce the stress a migraine causes.


Migraines may last for several hours up to several weeks. Migraines have no sympathy for commitments so if you are unable to take time away from obligations, here are some tips to cope with the migraine while performing your daily routine:


Wear sunglasses in bright light and avoid looking into the light as much as possible.


Dim the lighting in the room you are working in.


Wear earplugs to drown out loud noises.


Use migraine patches to help provide relief of severe pain.


Use topical medications which have a cooling effect to reduce pain.


Take frequent time-outs as any time that you have to use as a break will help.


Close your eyes whenever possible. Every time you are able to take a minute or two to close your eyes it will help reduce the intensity of the migraine. Light hurts. Avoid it at all possible times.


Migraines are very debilitating and should be treated by a physician. Self-diagnosis is dangerous. Once you have been diagnosed and are certain that you are experiencing migraines, using the self-help techniques provided to cope with these headaches should offer some relief.


Avoid driving whenever possible. Take migraine medication as soon as you feel the onset of the migraine. Waiting can make the migraine more difficult to treat. It may then take several doses before the migraine is knocked out. Some migraines require injections from your physician in order to be eliminated.


Don't be afraid to ask for help from friends, relatives and co-workers. Get a babysitter. Do anything to make life easier on yourself until the migraine is gone. This is a serious condition and should be treated as such.

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