Migraines are a common health-condition; and yet they can often present themselves and affect people in vastly different ways. With a multitude of possible causes, time-frames and relief solutions floating around - it can be a difficult condition to comprehend; and even more difficult to figure out how to tackle it. When dealing with such a painful and emotionally-draining condition, answers are important. That’s why we’ve created this comprehensive guide; to help clarify why you may be experiencing attacks - and what migraine treatment could work best for you.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is commonly classified as a moderate or severe headache; often felt as an extreme throbbing pain in one side of the head. While some may think of them as simply this, other symptoms - such as nausea, numbness and light and sound hypersensitivity; can also be prevalent when dealing with migraines.
Typically developing from early adulthood onwards; migraines are an extremely common health condition - affecting a lot more people than some may realise. In fact, research shows it to be the sixth most disabling condition globally; affecting approximately one in every five women, and one in every fifteen men.
Suffering from migraines - and trying to manage them effectively; can often be an incredibly frustrating and disheartening process. Not only is there no universal remedy to help alleviate them; migraine attacks also vary in strength from person to person - or even case by case for an individual.
For example, migraine attacks tend to consist of four stages - prodrome, aura, headache and postdrome; though not everyone goes through all of them. In particular, only around one in three migraine sufferers experience a distinct aura phase; which is defined as a group of sensory, speech and motor symptoms that act as a warning for an oncoming migraine.
What Causes Migraines?
So what exactly is it that causes migraines to affect so many? The answer is - we don’t know. The exact cause of migraines still eludes researchers; though they’re thought to be the result of temporary changes to the nerves, blood vessels and chemicals in the brain. While it’s not entirely certain what exactly leads to these changes; several possible factors have been put forward by medical professionals and those living with the condition.
Some people find that their migraine attacks are associated with - and brought on by; a specific stimulus. These triggers span a wide range of areas; including physical, emotional, hormonal, dietary and environmental factors. From high levels of stress and tension; to poor-quality sleep, low-blood sugar, irregular meals and dehydration - the list truly does go on. Even strenuous exercise could trigger a migraine attack if you’re not accustomed to it.
There’s also a possible genetic link that makes individuals more susceptible to certain triggers - and thereby experience migraines more frequently. In fact, around half of the people who suffer from the condition have a close relative who does as well; suggesting that genes do indeed play a role.
For women, starting on a period could be another possible trigger; as a result of the changes to hormone levels - such as oestrogen, around this time. Typically, these migraines occur between two days before the start of a period - and three days afterwards. Many women find that their migraines improve after going through menopause; though for some, this too can act as a trigger - or make existing migraines worse.
How Long do Migraines Last?
The length of a migraine can vary drastically in different people - or even in different instances for an individual. While an entire four-phase attack could last for as little as a day; it could be up to a week in more extreme cases. In particular, the headache portion could last anywhere from four hours - to three days. It’s also possible for several years to pass between migraine attacks; while others may experience them several times a week.
Preventing the Need for Migraine Treatment
As with any debilitating condition; the best approach to take is a preventative one. While those who experience migraines with aura may have some form of prior warning; for many - they can come on suddenly. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle - and getting regular exercise, meals and sleep; is a good way to reduce the risk of an attack.
Keeping hydrated - and reducing intake of alcohol and caffeine; are also good migraine treatment methods to curb the risk of an attack. Furthermore, if a specific type of food or drink has been identified as a possible trigger; avoiding it in the future would - of course, be recommended.
Migraine Treatment Options
As things stand, there’s currently no cure for the condition; but there are a number of migraine treatments available - to help manage and reduce the symptoms. Many people find that getting some sleep - or lying down in a darkened room; are reliable methods for getting some relief when a migraine comes on. Others may feel better once they’ve eaten - or alternatively, thrown up - if they were feeling symptoms of nausea.
Aside from these natural remedies, over-the-counter medicines - such as paracetamols and ibuprofens; can be effective at taking the edge off of painful migraines. Using them is more effective if taken before the headache starts - which can be hard to tell unless experiencing a migraine with aura. It’s also worth noting that taking the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular basis can make it more difficult to treat headaches down-the-line.
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy as Migraine Treatment
Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) could be a viable - and reliable, source of relief for those suffering from frequent migraine attacks. This treatment provides patients with pure oxygen at an increased pressure - allowing for more O₂ to flow through the body. In turn, this additional oxygen helps to accelerate healing; reduce pain and inflammation, combat infection and increase energy levels.
HBOT as migraine treatment aims to minimise - if not eliminate, the painful symptoms of this condition; and decrease the frequency at which they occur, without the need for prescription drugs. HBOT’s ability to naturally increase blood flow - by creating new blood vessels; could help migraines, in particular, by reducing brain swelling; restoring blood flow to brain tissue; and decreasing spasms in pre-existing blood vessels.
We’re Here to Help
At Oxify, we’re passionate about the benefits of Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy - and how it can help treat and manage so many debilitating conditions. We care about providing a solution that benefits the whole of you - not just the physical symptoms; but also your emotional well-being.
That’s why we like to offer a money-back guarantee - so if you don’t feel any benefits after ten HbOT sessions in a two-week period; we’ll repay you in full. Talk to a member of our friendly team today to find out more; we’d be delighted to help.