Teach Yourself to Teach Them
People will never understand migraines the way that you do. Even someone else that has migraines may have a drastically different experience than you do. Learning as much as you can about your condition will empower you with information and permit you to better explain migraines to others. Here’s how:
Know Your Symptoms
Before you can explain migraines to anyone else, you must be proficient at understanding them yourself. When did they first appear? What are your triggers? What intensity of symptoms do you experience? What is helpful for you when symptoms are bad?
Having a grasp of your patterns and trends allows you to build a familiarity with yourself. In turn, this makes you a better communicator to friends, family and professionals in your life.
Learning and understanding the types of migraines is confusing and challenging. The International Headache Society developed and maintains a headache classification system. Currently, there are six different classifications of migraines. The list quickly balloons when you add multiple specifiers.
To complicate matters, many physicians continue using terms that the International Headache Society does not recognize. These include stress migraine, silent migraine, sinus migraine, ocular migraine, tension migraine and others. Seek out the best information to inform others.
Know the Statistics
Estimates state that 37 million Americans deal with migraines, and women make up 70% of migraine sufferers.
Migraine without aura is the most common as 66% of migraine sufferers identify with this type. Pain on one side of the head is common with 59% of people reporting that symptom. Throbbing pain occurs in 85% of people.
Sensitivity to sound in occurs in 76% of migraine sufferers. Sensitivity to light in 80% and nausea is reported in 73% of people.
These symptoms typically last for four to 72 hours. Migraine with aura comprises most of the other third of migraines. Some with this type of migraine report feeling no pain accompanying their visual symptoms.
Consider compiling facts relevant to your situation. Printing a brochure about migraines might be a good way to communicate this information to people in your life.
Know the Medications
Prescription abortive medications are taken at the first sign of migraine symptoms. The goal is to treat the symptoms and restore your level functioning for at least 24 hours. Prescription preventative medications are taken daily to stop migraines from beginning. A medication like this is especially helpful for women that have menstrual migraines because they can begin taking the prescription in the days leading up to their period to avoid symptoms.
Over-the-counter medications include Advil, Excedrin, Motrin and Tylenol. Natural Remedies are herbs, vitamins, roots or teas to treat migraines. Complementary and Alternative Medication (CAM) include acupuncture, chiropractic, yoga and hypnosis.