Medical Monday: Migraines

Published: Feb. 7, 2023 at 4:31 PM EST
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Many people get migraines, but some may not know they have one, thinking it’s simply a bad headache. Dr. Brian Adrian, Primary Care Physician at the Fort Fairfield Health Center gives tips on how to differentiate between a headache and a migraine.

“Many times the symptoms overlap. Typical migraine symptoms include usually a gradual onset, it doesn’t just hit you like a ton of bricks. It can be, but not always associated with that aura, kind of that funny feeling or changes in vision or sensation. Many times a migraine will creep up on you. It is generally located most of the time in the front of the head behind the eyes, a lot of times it’s on one side but could be on both, and typically just persists. It doesn’t necessarily get better or worse, but can last anywhere from half an hour or even up to a couple of days.” He says.

Dr. Adrian recommends reaching out to your primary care physician if you are experiencing headaches more than 3 times a week. He adds keeping a headache diary with frequency, symptoms, how you’re feeling will also help. If you’re in the midst of a migraine, Dr. Adrian has some advice.

Dr. Adrian says, “Yes, take the medication as directed by your provider, but also listen to your body. If you’re tired, take a nap. If lights or sounds are bothering you, get away from the bright lights and the loud sounds. If you’re just not feeling well, feeling nauseous try small sips of water, maybe some ginger ale, small light meals and if prescribed take something to help prevent the nausea and prevent the vomiting.”

Dr. Adrian adds there isn’t a quick fix and you will have to ride out the migraine. Finally he says, prevention is important.

“People need to pay attention to and avoid any triggers they know of. They need to take their medication as prescribed, and if they’re having recurrent migraines, there are several very effective medications that can be used for prevention, reducing the need for repeating doses of medication, lost time from work or school and just improvement of quality of life. So I would encourage people to talk to their provider, openly and honestly with as much information they they can to recognize migraines and if needed to prevent them from happening with as much as possible.” according to Dr. Adrian.

If you think you might be suffering from migraines, reach out to your primary care physician.