Headache is one of the most common types of pain that people experience. There are several different types of headaches. One type of headache, a migraine headache, usually occurs on one side of the head. The pain typically begins as a dull ache which worsens to a throbbing or pounding pain. The migraine may last up to 48 hours.
Migraines may be triggered by changes in sleep patterns, changes in weather, physical stress, exposure to cigarette smoke, caffeine withdrawal, and exposure to bright lights. Often, changes in vision may occur before the migraine begins. This change in vision might include a visual blind spot, zigzag lines that move across the field of vision, eye pain, or tunnel vision. Other symptoms that may occur along with the migraine include fatigue, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting.
There are several over the counter treatment options for migraines. These options include Tylenol and Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS) like Advil, Motrin, or Aleve. Those with high blood pressure, kidney disease, or a history of gastric ulcers should talk to their doctor before using NSAIDS. If these drugs do not improve the migraine, additional options include Excedrin Migraine and Advil Migraine. Also, relaxing in a cool, dark room may also greatly improve the migraine pain. If you experience frequent headaches or if the headaches occur with stiff neck, severe nausea or vomiting, or loss of consciousness, it is important to contact your doctor immediately.
(Editor’s note: Alyssa Davis is currently working at Clinton Drug.)