Back to home Sept. 2012
Migraines Treatable with Correct Diagnosis
The feeling can start with a dull ache or a throbbing pulse, but most headaches are not serious and subside with over-the-counter medication. For some patients, more serious migraine headaches are a regular and debilitating part of life.
"They often occur in adolescence and young adulthood," says neurologist, Nima Mowzoon, M.D. "They tend to affect women more frequently than men." The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known, but hormone levels and genetics may play a role in determining who develops these severe headaches. Symptoms can include nausea, vomiting, and light and sound sensitivity, in addition to the headache.
Treatments for migraines range from lifestyle changes to medication. "When they become more frequent we look at preventive medication," Dr. Mowzoon says. "It takes about 2-6 weeks for a preventive medication to take effect." Some patients only need occasional use of medication at the onset of a headache, while others need daily medication to prevent the pain.
Some patients respond well to certain medications otherwise prescribed for epilepsy, hypertension or depression.
“All migraine patients benefit from making lifestyle changes, including:
- Healthy eating habits
- Adequate sleep
- Limiting caffeine use
- Cessation of smoking
- Regular exercise
If a patient is experiencing frequent or persistent headaches, Dr. Mowzoon recommends seeking advice from a physician. Treatment is tailored toward each individual's symptoms. "Sometimes, we find that it's another type of headache," he says. "Other types of headaches, including tension-type headaches, cluster headaches, sinus headaches or headaches caused by brain tumors can mimic migraines and the treatment may be quite different."
Nima Mowzoon, M.D.
Florida Neurology Group
12670 Whitehall Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33907