June is Migraine Awareness Month. We talked with Qing Ni, M.D., neurologist with Piedmont Physicians Neurology in Newnan, to get some quick answers about migraines and some tips for prevention.
“Simply put, a migraine is a chronic headache by a moderate to severe degree accompanied with nausea,” Dr. Ni says.
The complicated definition of a migraine is a condition that involves a genetic sensitivity of your brain and nerves. Researchers believe that each migraine attack consists of a series of events:
- Nerve stimulations in your brain.
- Inflammation and swelling of blood vessels on the surface of your brain.
- A change in the way your brain processes pain.
If you experience frequent migraines, learn what triggers them. Dr. Ni says common triggers are stress (physical and mental), food allergies, weather changes and hormonal changes.
“People who suffer from migraines should take medication as soon as they feel one coming on,” says Dr. Ni. “They should avoid overuse of over-the-counter medicine and take doctor-prescribed medicine as directed. In addition, they should get plenty of rest and sleep.”
He says the best treatment is to avoid triggers, take a nap at the first sign of a migraine, and see your doctor to manage your migraines with medication.
For more information on migraines, the National Headache Foundation is a great resource.