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4 Reasons NOT to Ignore Chronic Migraine

4 Reasons NOT to Ignore Chronic Migraine

The occasional garden variety headache is something everyone deals with, and the pain can usually be knocked out quickly by taking an over-the-counter remedy. However, when you’re struck with a migraine attack, the intense pain and other debilitating symptoms cause you to experience a unique, profound agony.

As if having migraine wasn’t bad enough, it’s estimated that about 148 million individuals worldwide struggle with chronic migraine, which is when you have more than 15 headache days per month. Living with chronic migraine can also lead to anxiety and depression, as you wonder when the next attack will hit and what activities you’ll need to bow out of as a result.

Fortunately, the compassionate team at Houston Neurological Institute has extensive experience treating chronic migraine with the most advanced approaches — and seeking treatment is essential if you’re dealing with these monstrous headaches so frequently. 

Chronic migraine: Life-limiting symptoms you can’t ignore

The course of a migraine attack can encompass four stages, though you may not be affected by each one:

  1. The prodrome is the first stage that warns of an impending attack. You may experience food cravings, mood swings, and overwhelming fatigue. 
  2. The aura stage can either occur before migraine hits or during it. You might notice light flashes or see different shapes, feel “pins and needles” in your arms or legs, and your face or one side of your body may feel numb. You can also experience speech problems and temporary vision loss. Not every person experiences the aura phase.
  3. The pain attack manifests as an intense throbbing pain that can last anywhere from four to 72 hours, and it often affects just one side of your head, though both can hurt. You also can experience neurological symptoms during this stage, including sensitivities to light, sound, touch, or smell, and nausea and vomiting.
  4. The postdrome stage is marked by feeling very drained and contending with brain fog. It can take an entire day to get back to normal after the awful, prolonged migraine symptoms.

Chronic migraine disorder is devastating to live with, and you shouldn’t try to “go it alone.” Consulting with the neurological experts at Houston Neurological Institute is critical.

Why you should never disregard chronic migraine

There’s no reason to suffer through the simultaneously unpredictable and overwhelming symptoms that accompany chronic migraine. We’ve put together some compelling reasons to seek treatment for the condition sooner rather than later.

1. Chronic migraine is linked to serious medical conditions

Chronic migraine disorder puts you at higher risk for an array of concerning health problems, including heart disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS),seizures, and stroke (if you’re female, under age 45, and experience auras). Though rare, people living with migraine are twice as likely to have sudden hearing loss as well. 

You’re also more prone to sleep disorders since migraine pain can keep you up at night. Unfortunately, sleep problems also lead to migraine.

2. Chronic migraine impacts your mental health

Earlier, we noted that worrying about when your next attack will hit can lead to anxiety and depression, but we also now know that if you have chronic migraine disorder, you’re at higher risk for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a disabling trauma-related anxiety disorder. One study concluded that people living with migraine are five times more likely to also live with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). 

3. Migraine can mimic a stroke

We all know how serious and life-threatening a stroke is. Quite a few migraine symptoms are the same as those of a stroke  — intense head pain, weakness or numbness on one side of your body, facial tingling, nausea, vomiting, vision changes or loss, and dizziness.

This symptom overlap is concerning, and why it’s imperative to be carefully monitored and treated for chronic migraine by your Houston Neurological Institute provider.

4. Don’t suffer needlessly

The simple fact is that with treatment for chronic migraine, your daily life can greatly improve — along with your emotional health. Proper treatment can help prevent headaches and stop them in their tracks when they do occur.

Our practice treats chronic migraine with innovative approaches:

The Houston Neurological Institute team is here to help you get your life back if you’re tired of unrelenting migraine misery.

June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, so it’s the ideal time to call us at our Pasadena or Pearland office to make an appointment or book one online. You deserve relief!

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