Showing posts with label migraines. Show all posts

Headache

Some great ideas for headaches.

Headache


Brew Up Some Rosemary - Rosemary helps keep blood vessels dilated. Use 1 teaspoon of rosemary per cup of hot water, cover, and steep for 10 minutes. Strain, and sip a cup three times a day. Or Try Ginger. Ginger inhibits a substance called thromboxane A2 that prevents the release of substances that make blood vessels dilate. In other words, it can help keep blood flowing on an even keel, which is essential in migraine prevention. Grate fresh ginger into juice, nosh on Japanese pickled ginger, use fresh or powdered ginger when you cook, or nibble on a piece or two of crystallized ginger candy daily.

Even if you've never had a migraine, you've almost certainly encountered other kinds of headache. Tension-type headaches are the most common variety. Marked by tightness in the head, neck and shoulders, they affect more than 75 percent of all headache sufferers, according to the American Council for Headache Information.

Sinus headaches are notable for pain or pressure in the cheeks, forehead or brow area and almost always accompany a sinus infection. Most people who assume they have a sinus headache, however, actually have migraines or tension-type headaches.

Cluster headaches (so named as they arrive in groups, or "clusters" with attacks lasting weeks or months, then stop and start again weeks or months later) are relatively rare, affecting only about one percent of the population. Of those, only 15 percent are women.

  1. During the past year, nearly 90 percent of men and 95 percent of women have experienced at least one headache, according to the American Council on Headache Education.
  2. Tension-type headaches are usually a steady ache rather than a one-sided throbbing. They can occur frequently or even every day.
  3. Although tension-type headaches can occur at any age, they are most prevalent between the ages of 30 and 39 and are more common in women than in men.
  4. Nearly 90 percent of people with sinus headache symptoms are likely suffering from migraines, according to the National Headache Society.
  5. The pain of a cluster headache has been described as far worse than childbirth.
Headaches, coming in clusters, or feeling like a sinus headache is nothing to let go. Pay attention to your body, pay attention to how often your headaches occur. Keep a journey or log for your doctor. There are other causes of headaches and only you can describe best what you are experiencing.

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Over the Counter Migraine Pain Relievers

migraine pain relievers
People with milder forms of migraines can use over-the-counter medications to free themselves of this ghastly affliction. Two other non-prescription treatments are hot or cold compresses and alternative medical care.

Migraine Headaches are Common

Migraines are more common than most people know, and many folks with these horrid headaches end up going to an ER to find a way to end the pain. Although no one knows precisely what causes this neurological disorder, according to Dr. Scott Fuller in the article "What is a Migraine?", migraines are believed to be related to the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the brain, and the resulting changes of oxygen flow to the brain.

Migraines are not ordinary headaches.

Migraine Pain

Many people, who have never had a migraine view migraine sufferers as babies who complain about every little bump and bruise and smell and sound, but migraine pain is impossible to describe to those lucky individuals who have never had one.

It cannot be stressed enough: A migraine is no measly little headache. These monsters feel like a combination of having the flu and getting a couple of whacks to the skull. And, because migraines are so individualized / idiopathic, a drug that works for Suzy may do absolutely nothing for Sam.

Many migraine sufferers go undiagnosed. Therefore, it is a good idea to see a doctor to verify that a headache is, indeed, a migraine and not a symptom of another underlying medical problem. Some migraine sufferers are helped by over-the-counter medications. According to "Migraine: Treatment and Drugs", mayoclinic.com, "...medications, such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, others) or aspirin, may help relieve mild migraines."

Over the Counter Pain Relievers

“Over the counter” (OTC) means that a medication can be purchased without a prescription. According to Mayoclinic.com, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can bring relief to people with a mild form of migraine. Here are some analgesics to try:
  • Ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin)
  • ASPIRIN®
  • Excedrin Migraine (acetaminophen, ASPIRIN® and caffeine)
The problem with these remedies is that they will not work on severe migraines. Also, improper usage can lead to:
  • gastrointestinal bleeding
  • ulcers
  • rebound headaches
Check with a pharmacist or physician to make sure that there will be no complications or interactions with one's current medications.

When to See a Doctor for Migraine Treatment

Any headache could be a symptom of a more severe problem, so all headaches should be checked out by a doctor. Moreover, if there are unusual changes in headache patterns, it is imperative to talk to a physician. According to mayoclinic.com, the following symptoms indicate an immediate visit to a doctor or an ER:
  • an abrupt, severe headache (something like a thunderclap)
  • headache with fever, stiff neck, rash, confusion, seizures, double vision, weakness, numbness, or trouble speaking
  • headache following a head injury
  • chronic headache that is worse after coughing, exertion, straining, or sudden movement
  • new headache pain in a person over 50 y/o

Heat and Cold for Migraine Pain

Another simple treatment, that needs no prescription, is the use of hot and cold packs. (Try hot or cold compresses in a dark, quiet room, at the beginning stage of a headache.) Unfortunately, the only way to see if “temperature therapy” works is to try different applications and variations of hot and cold.
According to mayoclinic.com, "Migraines: Simple Steps to Head Off the Pain":
  • hot compresses, applied to one’s head or neck, can relax tense muscles
  • cold compresses applied to the head or back of one’s neck, can have a numbing effect, which may dull the sensation of pain
The article "Migraine Remedies" at Migraineliving.com recommends trying these methods:
  • placing a cold, wet cloth (or alternating hot and cold cloths) on the back of the neck
  • placing a cold compress on the forehead and putting one’s feet in warm water

Alternative Medicine

Here are some non-traditional therapies that may help to prevent headaches, and are mentioned in "Migraine: Alternative Medicine" at mayoclinic.com.
  • Acupuncture
  • Biofeedback
  • Massage therapy
  • Herbs - feverfew and butterbur (Don't use while pregnant.)
  • Riboflavin
  • Coenzyme Q10
  • Oral magnesium sulfate supplements
Migraine sufferers should ask their doctors about these therapies.
People with less severe migraines may be able to find treatments that don’t use costly prescription medications. Over-the-counter analgesics, hot and cold compresses, and alternative therapies do not work for all migraine sufferers, but they are good treatments to consider before bringing out the big guns. Headaches of all kinds can be a symptom of a more severe condition. Please check with a doctor about using OTC medications.

Information from this article is not intended to be a substitute for advice from a physician or other professional. Please consult a professional for specific advice.

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Ears Strange Facts and Health Problems they can Cause

ears
When people talk about ears, they normally visualize the outer ear. In actual fact the ear is made up of the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. The outer ear is comprised of the auditory canal where wax collects and the pinna. The middle ear is made up of the Eustachian tube, ossicles, ear drum and inner ear cavity. The inner ear is comprised of the cochlea, oval and round windows and the semi-circular canals.

Physical Signs on the Outer Ear

In their book, Body Signs, Joan Liebmann-Smith and Jacqueline Nardi Egan say there are certain visible signs on the outer ear that can indicate health problems:
  • Because ears jut out from the body, they tend to burn quickly and are a sign of excess exposure to the sun
  • Red ears are also a sign of certain ear infections such as psoriasis
  • Certain types of migraine are often heralded by the ear on the affected side turning red
  • A permanent diagonal crease across the ear lobe is a possible sign of a familial tendency towards heart disease and diabetes
  • Deformed ears may be a birth defect or a sign of a genetic condition such as Down syndrome and Fragile X syndrome

Problems with the Middle and Inner Ear

Health issues with the inner parts of the ear can affect the outer ear in certain circumstances:
  • Excess ear wax is one of the most common problems. It is normally produced to self-clean the ear but an excess may signify a diet low in fat or that the ears have been over-cleaned by a cotton bud or similar
  • A watery discharge can be a sign of a respiratory tract infection or some kind of infection of the ear
  • Pus leaking from the ear is a sign of a perforated ear drum or middle ear infection and needs medical attention
  • A bloodied discharge from the ear can be a sign of a tumor or trauma to the head and needs immediate medical attention
  • Itchy ears can be caused by over-cleaning, allergies, fungal infections and skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis
  • Vertigo or extreme dizziness accompanied by nausea and vomiting can be a sign of an ear infection, a brain tumor, head injury or Meniere’s Disease

Blocked Ears and Ringing Ears

There are various medical conditions that cause hearing problems and strange sensations in the ears:
  • Change of altitude when climbing or flying can cause ears to block up temporarily
  • Tinnitus is a condition where sufferers hear a ringing or other persistent sounds in their ears
  • Hearing a throbbing sound or heartbeat in one ear only can be a sign of an impending stroke. This needs urgent medical attention
Ears and hearing are interrelated and problems with the ears can also affect balance. Some health issues relate to the outer ear while others relate to the middle and inner ear. Certain symptoms are mild and can be solved easily while others need medical attention. It is important to care properly for ears.

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Migraine Headache Remedies That Bring Pain Relief

migraine headache remedies


When a migraine headache strikes, sometimes lying down in a dark room with a cool cloth across the forehead offers some relief. But usually more help is needed in order to bring migraine headache relief.

Taking Medication to Relieve the Migraine Headache Symptoms

For some migraine sufferers, over-the-counter medications offer relief in fighting the migraine pain. These medications usually contain ingredients like ibuprofen, ASPIRIN®, acetaminophen, naproxen, and caffeine. A migraine sufferer should be careful about using these medications too frequently because overuse can cause rebound headaches or a dependency problem. The Cleveland Clinic website recommends that anyone needing to use over-the-counter pain medicines more than three times a week should see a health care provider to talk about other options for treating the migraine attacks.

Where over-the-counter medications are not sufficient to provide migraine headache relief, there are prescription medicines available. These include:
  • triptans such as Axert, Frova, Maxalt, Imitrex, or Zomig. These are the prescription medicines used most frequently for the treatment of migraine headaches.
  • ergots such as dihydroergotamine or ergotamine with caffeine (Cafergot).
  • isometheptene, known as Midrin.

Some of these medicines work by narrowing the blood vessels, so they should not be taken by someone at risk for heart attacks. It is important to work with a health care provider in using these medicines.

For migraine sufferers who experience nausea during an attack, there is help in the form of nausea medicines such as prochlorperazine. Also, if nausea keeps migraine sufferers from taking other pain medications by mouth, some of the medications are available as a nasal spray, suppository, or injection.

Preventing the Migraine Attacks

If a person’s migraines are frequent and not easily controlled, a health care provider may prescribe medications to reduce the number of migraine attacks. The University of Maryland Medical Center website describes these medications as:
  • antidepressants such as amitriptyline
  • blood pressure medicines such as beta blockers (like propanolol) or calcium channel blockers (like verapamil)
  • seizure medication such as valproic acid, gabepentin, or topiramate
  • serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs) such as venlafaxine
  • selective norepinephrine uptake inhibitor (SNRIs) such as duloxetine

Using Biofeedback to Control the Causes of Migraines

For the person seeking help for migraines, biofeedback training is another possible treatment of migraine headaches. The headache sufferer can be trained to be aware of the stressful situations that might possibly cause a migraine. In some situations, they can use biofeedback (controlling heart rate, blood pressure, muscle tension, skin temperature, etc.) to prevent the attack before it becomes a major problem.

Working with a health care provider, a migraine sufferer might be able to use one or more of these migraine headache remedies to fight the crippling pain and nausea that often accompanies a migraine attack.

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