Migraine headache is a chronic neurological disorder with several variable presentations. Migraines generally have a neurovascular connection and more commonly affect one side of the head.
Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, photophobia (sensitivity to light) or phonophobia (sensitivity to sound).
Classic migraine presents with an aura, a transient visual or sensory disturbance that precedes a headache’s onset. An aura does not precede a common migraine.
Dr. Monica Tadros is one of the migraine doctors in New Jersey who specializes in headaches treatment for her patients in Bergen County, New Jersey, and Manhattan, NY. Her office is conveniently located near 300 Grand Ave, Englewood, NJ 0763 and 911 PARK AVE., NEW YORK, NY 10075
Migraine Headaches In-Depth
by Monica Tadros, M.D., F.A.C.S.
Migraine headaches typically last from 3 hours to 3 days and are often debilitating. Chronic migraine is defined as headaches occurring more than 15 days of the month for more than 3 months.
Migraines are usually hormonally influenced and are more likely to occur around menstruation. Many patients in the NJ area seek more information to help them understand if they are suffering migraines or basic headaches.
What Are The Symptoms of a Migraine Headache?
Many of our patients may go through a wide range of symptoms which often include:
- Throbbing pain on one side of the head. But you can have pain on both sides.
- Pain behind one of your eyes.
- Moderate to terrible pain.
- Pain that gets worse with routine physical activity.
- Nausea, vomiting, or both.
- Pain gets worse when you’re around light, noise, and sometimes smells.
Treatment of Migraine Headaches
- Initial treatment of migraine may be controlled by analgesics, such as Ibuprofen or Tylenol.
- When analgesics are ineffective, Triptans or Ergotamines may be used.
- Magnesium deficiency may worsen the condition. True autonomic magnesium deficiency is difficult to test with blood magnesium levels because most of the body’s Magnesium is intracellular and not accurately assayed with blood testing. All patients should be started on Magnesium oxide or Magnesium citrate 400mg twice a day.
- Antidepressants that work to inhibit serotonin may be used to treat the serotonin imbalance commonly seen with migraines.
- Beta-blockers such as metoprolol and propranolol or topiramate are most useful for migraine prophylaxis.
- Botulinum toxin chemo-denervation has helped treat chronic migraines.
- Surgical Myectomy may be performed in patients who demonstrate success with Botox chemodenervation. Surgery to transect the muscle will eliminate painful muscle spasms in the forehead, temple, and occipital regions.
- Endoscopic resection of concha bullosa and treatment of sinus contact points.
Other Potential Causes for Migraines Patients Are:
- Foods. Aged cheeses, salty foods, and processed foods may trigger migraines. Skipping meals or fasting also can trigger attacks.
- Food additives. The sweetener aspartame and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG), found in many foods, may trigger migraines.
- Drinks. Alcohol, especially wine, and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
- Stress. Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
- Sensory stimuli. Bright lights and sun glare can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong smells — including perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and others — can trigger migraines in some people.
- Changes in wake-sleep pattern. Missing sleep or getting too much sleep may trigger migraines in some people, as can jet lag.
- Physical factors. Intense physical exertion, including sexual activity, may provoke migraines.
- Changes in the environment. A change of weather or barometric pressure can prompt a migraine.
- Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can aggravate migraines.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Difference Between a Migraine and a ‘Traditional’ Headache?
Your headache may be a migraine if you have any combination of these symptoms: Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head or can shift from one side of the head to the other. Sensitivity to light, noise, or odors. Blurred vision.
What are the Causes of Migraines?
Though migraine causes aren’t understood, genetics, hormonal and environmental factors appear to play a role. Migraines may be caused by changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, a major pain pathway.
Imbalances in brain chemicals — including serotonin, which helps regulate pain in your nervous system — also may be involved. Researchers are still studying the role of serotonin in migraines.
Are Migraines Linked to Sinus Disorders?
A significant number of patients with refractory migraines may have “contact point” triggers in the sinonasal cavity. Some patients suffer from a concha bullosa (a pneumatized overgrown middle turbinate) contact point that presses against the nasal septum bone. This may be exacerbated with swelling of the sinus lining that further compresses the delicate sinus tissue between two hard bones. In these patients, migraines seem to get worse with allergies, rain, or change in weather.
The contact point treatment may require correction of a deviated nasal septum, endoscopic resection of a concha bullosa, or turbinate repositioning. Treating sinus/nasal allergies should also lessen the frequency or degree of migraines in this population of North Bergen and New Jersey patients.
If you suffer from frequent migraines and headaches, finding out the type of headache causing most symptoms is critical in treating the pain’s underlying causes. Schedule your no-obligation migraine headaches treatment consultation in Bergen County, NJ with Dr. Monica Tadros MD today. Learn about the major causes, symptoms, and treatments for various headache types here, and consult Dr. Tadros at our clinic for cosmetic plastic surgery in New Jersey before starting your migraine headaches treatment plan.