A: Migraine headaches are headaches that present as throbbing pain, usually affecting only one side of the head. The pain associated with a migraine headache is usually mild to moderate and can last anywhere from four to 72 hours. Migraines may occur with or without an aura. An aura is a symptom noticed shortly before the migraine begins. This may include seeing light flashes or blurry vision, upset stomach, sweating or drowsiness. Some people who get migraines are also sensitive to light, while others are not.
A great way to recognize any triggers that cause a migraine would be to keep a headache diary. This would include how severe the pain is on a scale of one to 10, time and date of the migraine, how much sleep you got that night and what you had to eat that day. This will help you identify any triggers that cause your migraine so you can avoid them in the future. Resting in a dark, quiet area and other relaxation techniques may also help reduce the frequency and intensity of the migraines.
There are several products that are over the counter that could help the pain of migraine headaches. Ibuprofen, acetaminophen and naproxen may be used for migraine headaches. There are also some other drugs that are specifically for migraines such as Excedrine Migraine which contains acetaminophen, aspirin and caffeine. If these drugs do not work, it may be necessary to try a prescription medication. If you suffer from migraines and need help choosing a treatment, please ask your pharmacist.
Answer provided by Hy-Vee Drugstore, 1541 S.E. Third St., Suite 100, 986-4527.