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Migraines More than Miserable: July 13, 2014

There are headaches. And there are headaches.

“It almost feels like – my head is in a vice being twisted, twisted, twisted. “

Page Boothby spent a good portion of her life in the dark, suffering from severe migraines.

“Anything I smelled, anything I ate, I would vomit.  I would have to have the room dark; I would have the room dark for four or five days.”

Migraines have several distinctions that put them head and shoulders above the rest.

“Correct. Migraine is something very different,” says Dr. Wendy Bond. She is a neurologist on staff of Lee Memorial Health System. “It’s usually a unilateral headache that has a throbbing pulse and nature, usually sensitivity to light, noise, nausea and vomiting. About 12 percent of the population has migraines.”

These mega-headaches may be more than just miserable. Newest research links them to stroke. First in young to middle-age women and now there’s reason to believe older adults with migraines have double the risk of suffering a ‘silent stroke’.

“People with migraines, especially with auras, if you have visual loss vision changes before migraines, sensory system they really recommend a medicine to prevent the migraines from happening because we know that can be associated with a stroke later on in life,” says Dr. Bond.

Many sufferers rely on blood pressure medicines, seizure drugs and antidepressants.  In 2010 the FDA approved Botox as a migraine treatment. Page gave it a shot.

“I have noticed a big decrease having it. It’s another line of defense. For me anyway,” says Boothby.

So there may be more riding on the storm in your brain- and more reason to calm it.