Although painful and troublesome, most headaches are minor and can be easily treated with aspirin or another pain reliever. (Do not use aspirin in anyone under the age of 19 since it may increase the risk for Reye’s Syndrome, a serious potentially fatal disease.) But if your headaches are severe, recur frequently, or are accompanied by other symptoms, you may need to see a health care provider.
Headaches are categorized according to their underlying causes. Common types of headaches include:
Medications can also prevent ocular migraines. Calcium-channel blockers, such as Cardene and Calan, are the most commonly used drugs. They work by opening up the blood vessels. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as aspirin are also sometimes used. Less often, your doctor may prescribe drugs used to prevent blood clotting, depression, and epilepsy.
A device is also an option. Cefaly is the first FDA-approved device for preventing migraines in people over age 18. The portable headband-like device gives electrical impulses on the skin at the forehead. This stimulates a nerve associated with migraine headaches. Cefaly is used once a day for 20 minutes, and when it's on you'll feel a tingling or massaging sensation.