What You Need to Know About Managing Migraines

What You Need to Know About Managing Migraines

Headaches are one of the most common pain conditions in the world, but that doesnt mean they should be taken lightly – especially when they are frequent and severe.

There are many different types of headaches, but one of the most common is migraines—a neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of the head. A migraine is also unique because its onset can include more than just pain. Symptoms also include:

  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to motion 
  • Dizziness

Patients must often stay in the dark and quiet until the migraine runs its course. Sometimes over-the-counter medications can help. People come to us when those don't work,” said Christina Johnston, DO, board certified neurologist with Holland Hospital Neurology.

What causes migraines?

While a genetic predisposition can make some people more susceptible to migraines, they are often caused by external triggers like weather pattern changes, caffeine or processed foods. 

Both men and women are susceptible to migraines, but they can be more frequent in women due to menstrual hormone fluctuations that can trigger migraines. Women will often notice that as they age and their hormones change, this sometimes improves their migraines,” said Dr. Johnston.

Treatment options.

The specialists at Holland Hospital Neurology are highly experienced in treating migraines and other headache neurological disorders. There have been many breakthroughs in treatment,” said Dr. Johnston. We can offer patients treatments that were not available 10 or 15 years ago.”

When over-the-counter medications are not enough, doctors may prescribe medications to help address neurochemical imbalances that can trigger migraines. “Blood vessels in the head can also swell or dilate during a migraine, so some prescription medications can constrict those blood vessels to help manage the pain,” said Dr. Johnston.

Another common enhanced treatment for migraines is Botox. Migraine treatment with Botox is approved for patients who have been diagnosed with chronic migraines, meaning they are affected by debilitating migraines for 15 days a month or more. This treatment has been approved by the FDA for over ten years and is highly effective, reducing the number of days impacted by migraines by more than 50%. It's very safe,” said Dr. Johnston. 

Where can I learn more?

Are you looking for expert, innovative treatments for episodic migraines, chronic migraines or other headache disorders? Learn more about the full spectrum of treatments that the experts at Holland Hospital Neurology offer for diseases of the brain, spinal cord, nerves and muscles. 

  • Christina Johnston, DO

    Christina Johnston, DO

    Holland Hospital Neurology
    577 Michigan Ave, Suite 203
    Holland, MI 49423
    P: (616) 396-7366
    F: (616) 392-2889

Share this Post