Migraines can cause debilitating pain and disturbing visual effects that can interfere with normal activities and take a toll on quality of life. At Prestige Emergency Room, patients in San Antonio, TX, receive migraine diagnosis and migraine treatment. Get optimal care for migraine headaches, helping to relieve pain and other symptoms while learning strategies to prevent recurrence.
What causes migraines?
The specific cause of migraines isn’t fully understood, but research indicates it’s likely a combination of neural and vascular issues, combined with low levels of brain chemicals like serotonin. These chronic headaches often develop in response to specific triggers like strong odors, food additives, bright lights, loud sounds, acute stress or exposure to stressful environments, changes in hormone levels, alterations in sleep habits, and consuming too much caffeine or alcohol. Sometimes triggers cannot be identified or aren’t apparent. Migraines are also more common among women and among those who have a family history of the headaches. They tend to be less common among people over the age of 55 years.
How can I tell if a headache is a migraine and not another type of headache?
Migraine headaches are often associated with much more severe and longer-lasting intense pain than other types of headaches, with pain often concentrated over one eye or near the temples. They often occur in response to certain triggers, and they’re usually accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, increased sensitivity to light and sound (and sometimes smells), and visual disturbances like wavy vision, flashing lights, tunnel vision or other distortions. Often, these visual disturbances only affect one eye. Migraines can last a few hours, or they can persist for much longer. The best way to determine whether chronic headaches are migraines or other types of headaches like tension or cluster headaches is to have a medical evaluation for migraine diagnosis and treatment.
How are migraines treated?
Although migraines can’t be “cured,” they can be managed. Migraine treatment includes knowing the triggers that cause migraines and avoiding those triggers is important. Some patients benefit from stress management techniques like yoga or meditation. Taking pain medication can also be very important in managing symptoms so patients can function. Some migraine treatment medications can even help reduce the frequency of migraines or prevent them. BOTOX injections also have proven effective in helping many patients manage and prevent migraines and their symptoms.