Experiencing migraines? It might be time for you to consult with a neurologist in Leesburg!
Migraines are one of the most disabling diseases, affecting more than 38 million people in the United States. It is characterized by severe, painful, throbbing, and recurring headaches, usually on just one side of the head, accompanied by varying symptoms. It can last for hours to days.
Migraine: Not Your Ordinary Headache
This illness may seem simple and ordinary for many, but it is essential for patients to consult with a specialist to avoid misdiagnosis and incorrect treatment. If you are experiencing headaches as described, our neurologist in Leesburg and Dulles will be happy to help you understand and deal with your situation. But before taking it to your doctors, here are some of the essential things you need to learn about migraines.
What are its most common symptoms?
Some of the most common migraine symptoms include the following:
- Extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Blurred vision
- Pounding headache on just one side of your head
- Neck and shoulder stiffness
- Frequent yawning a few days or hours before the attack
Was there ever an instance when you felt a throbbing pain in one side of your head that worsens as you become exposed to bright lights and city noises? It may be a migraine. About 80-85% of migraine patients experience this particular symptom.
Some patients also encounter what doctors call “aura.” This involves visual disturbances, such as seeing different shapes, sizes, and flashes of light, difficulty speaking, uncontrollable movements, and weakness or numbness in one side of the body. However, this symptom is a bit uncommon compared to the ones listed above as experienced by roughly 36% of patients.
Have you been in any of these situations? If you have and you happen to live near Northern Virginia, Dr. Sarbjot Dulai — a Leesburg and Dulles neurology specialist — is ready to review your symptoms with you and diagnose whether or not you are experiencing are migraines.
What causes a migraine?
The causes of this disease are still unclear. However, factors related to genetics and environment may contribute to migraines.
Although the primary cause is still uncertain, what we do know are some of the things that can trigger a migraine episode including:
- salty and processed food
- alcohol and highly caffeinated drinks
- changes in sleep patterns
- intense physical activity
- change in weather
If you suspect you may be having migraine attacks, it would be best to avoid foods, such as processed meats and “junk” food. Try to get sufficient sleep every day.
Migraine “triggers”—or causes— vary depending on the patient. It is essential for any person who experiences migraine attacks to determine the triggers so they can try to prevent frequent recurrence. This is why consulting a neurology specialist is imperative. Dr. Dulai of Neurology Associates has offices in Leesburg and Dulles and is available to help you identify your migraine triggers.
How can I prevent migraine?
There is still no long-term treatment for migraines. Most of the medicines prescribed can only stop or manage attacks. These commonly include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as naproxen and ibuprofen. However, long term use of over the counter medicines have their limitations and caution should be used when taking these meds. It is important to consult with your doctor before taking any medication, especially when self-medicating. If you want to make sure that you take the right kind and correct amount of medication, Dr. Dulai is available to consult with you about proper treatment.
Our neurologist in Leesburg is also equipped to guide you in transforming your lifestyle to treat your migraines. These lifestyle alterations include:
- Avoiding stress triggers
- Regular physical exercise
- Getting enough sleep
- Drinking more water
- Avoiding food triggers
If getting rid of your stressors seems to be impossible because they are an unavoidable part of your life, there may be other solutions to consider. Alternative methods to prevent severe and recurring migraine attacks may include:
- Transcutaneous Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation (t-SNS) — a device with attached electrodes used as a therapy for migraine prevention
- Learn to Cope (LTC) Strategy — helps patients become desensitized to their triggers
- Regular exercise and creating a daily healthy routine is also commonly advised by neurologists.
Since most of these techniques involve a lifestyle change, consultations with experts are also necessary to effectively prevent migraine attacks. Visit our office in Leesburg and Dulles neurology centers so that Dr. Dulai can guide you toward relief for migraines.
Migraine may seem to be very common, but it can also be disabling. That is why it is essential to consult with experts so you would know how to deal with it before it affects almost every area of your life.