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    Your Guide to Migraine Headaches

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    Types of Migraines continued...

    Basilar artery migraine . Dizziness, confusion, or loss of balance can happen before the headache. The pain may affect the back of the head. These symptoms usually start suddenly and can happen with trouble speaking, ringing in the ears, and vomiting. This type of migraine is strongly linked to hormone changes and mainly affects young adult women.

    Status migrainosus . A rare and severe type of migraine that can last 72 hours or longer. The pain and nausea are so intense that people who have this type often need to go to the hospital. Some medicines, or medication withdrawal, can cause them.

    Ophthalmoplegic migraine. Pain around the eye, including paralysis of the muscles around it. This is a medical emergency because the symptoms can also be caused by pressure on the nerves behind the eye or an aneurysm. Other symptoms of this rare type of migraine include a droopy eyelid, double vision, or other vision changes.

    Migraines without auras are more common. Several hours before the headache starts, the person can have vague symptoms, including:

     

    How Are Migraines Treated?

    There is no cure for migraines. But many drugs can treat or even prevent some of them. You can also get them less often when you avoid triggers that cause them, such as drinking red wine or getting too little sleep.

    • Pain relief. Over-the-counter (OTC) drugs often work well for some people. The main ingredients are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine. Be careful when you take OTC pain meds because sometimes they can add to a headache. If you use them too much, you can get rebound headaches or become dependent on them. If you take any OTC pain relievers more than three times a week or daily, it's time to see your doctor. She can suggest prescription meds that may be more effective.
    • Nausea medicine. Your doctor can prescribe medication if you get nausea with migraines.
    • Preventive medicines. If you take them at the first sign of a migraine, they may stop the process that causes the pain. These medications can also stop the headache itself. They work by narrowing the brain’s blood vessels, bringing them back to normal, and relieving the throbbing pain.
    • Biofeedback . This technique helps people learn to recognize stressful situations that trigger migraines. If the headache begins slowly, many people can use biofeedback to stop the attack before it becomes full blown.
    • Magnetic stimulation. A transcranial magnetic stimulator (TMS) is a device that goes on the back of the head at the start of a migraine with aura. It sends a pulse of magnetic energy to part of the brain, which may stop or reduce pain.
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