Everyone who has been unfortunate enough to have migraine before knows just how painful they can be. Not only can the headache be excruciating, the symptoms can last for multiple days, becoming a real disruption to your life. Whilst there’s currently no long-term cure for migraines, there are a few things you can do to treat a migraine in the moment, and reduce the chances of them occurring in the future.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a very common medical condition that approximately 1 in 5 women will get at some point in their lives, and roughly 1 in 15 men. The condition is most commonly characterised by a throbbing headache on one side of the head (although you can also get it on both sides) and other symptoms may include feeling nauseous, vomiting or visual/auditory hallucinations. There are 4 phases that a migraine may progress through, although not everyone gets all 4. These are:
- Prodrome – increased yawning, feeling thirsty, or unusual food craving.
- Aura – affecting the nervous system, causing auditory or visual hallucinations, such as seeing white spots.
- Attack – the painful phase, where a continuous headache is present and may cause vomiting.
- Post-Drome – left feeling confused or drained after the attack phase.
Methods of Treating and Preventing Migraines
Go into a dark, quiet bedroom and lie down. You’re extra sensitive to light and sound when you have a migraine, so removing these may help relieve symptoms.
The scent of lavender has been proven to reduce headache severity during the painful stage of a migraine. Light a candle, drink a lavender tea or inhale lavender essential oils.
Dehydration often triggers a migraine, so ensure your body has sufficient water and electrolyte levels. Adding sliced lime or lemon to your water may make it easier and more enjoyable to drink, hence increasing your intake.
There are numerous clinically proven migraine treatments that are specifically designed to reduce the pain of a migraine headache. Experiment with what works best for you, but this is by the most effective method of reducing the pain during the attack phase
Apply a Cold or Hot Compress
Something to soothe your forehead will help your muscles relax and detract from the migraine pain. Wrap either an ice pack or a hot water bottle in a tea towel and place across the forehead or back of the neck.