(RxWiki News) Migraines aren't just a painful problem — they're a huge problem.
These severe headaches are among the top three causes of disability around the world. They affect an estimated 12 percent of Americans.
In addition to the often debilitating pain, migraines lead to countless hours of lost productivity and increased health care costs for patients. No matter how common and widespread it is, headache pain is a legitimate and serious health condition. Those who have severe headaches should seek medical care and talk to their health care providers about the available treatments.
In the meantime, read on for a look at some steps to fight off or prevent migraine pain.
There are several over-the-counter migraine medications available in most pharmacies. That's in addition to plenty of prescription options. Ask a trusted doctor or pharmacist which medications might be safe and effective for you.
Improve Your Sleep
Poor sleep can trigger migraines for some people. To boost your sleep quality, consider trying the following:
- Set regular sleep and wake times.
- Avoid overconsumption of caffeine and alcohol.
- Engage in relaxing activities like reading or bathing before bed.
- Don't take electronics or work to bed with you.
For some people, alcohol, caffeine, certain cheeses and chocolate can trigger migraines. Consider keeping a food journal to track which foods might trigger your headaches. In addition, try to eat at regular times and avoid skipping meals.
Manage Your Stress
While some stress is unavoidable, severe stress can influence migraines. Try to minimize your stress in any way you can. Take breaks, find time for activities you enjoy, try deep breathing techniques and simplify your daily routine.
Find a Quiet Place
Particularly when you feel a migraine coming on, it's important to try to find or create a calm environment. Spend time in a dark room, and apply cold or hot compresses to your neck and head.
Ask your health care provider what kinds of exercise are safe for you. Physical activity can help block pain signals, reduce anxiety and depression and promote a healthy weight. All of these effects can help you manage your migraine symptoms.
Speak with Your Health Care Provider
Don't hesitate to reach out to your pharmacist or doctor for help managing your headache or migraine pain. Your health care provider can recommend treatments that will be safe and effective for you.