A World of Hurt: How to Deal with Migraines

Steady, throbbing pain in your head.  Sensitivity to light and sound.  Nausea, and maybe vomiting.  If these symptoms sound familiar, you’ve probably suffered from a migraine headache.  The symptoms can be so miserable, it’s no wonder that doctors and patients refer to them as migraine “attacks.”

Nearly one in five Americans experience migraine headaches, and they are more common in women than in men.   The pain of a migraine usually comes on gradually.  Some people experience an “aura.”  No, that’s not a lovely glow; it’s the changes in vision, tingling limbs, or numbness that comes before a headache.  Migraines typically last a few hours, although some people experience them for an excruciatingly long time (up to 72 hours!).

There’s a looooong list of things that can provoke migraines.  Some of them are pretty common in college life:  chocolate, alcohol, caffeine, changes in sleeping patterns, skipping meals, irregular physical activity, oral contraceptives, and stress.  I don’t know about you, but most of my friends are exposed to at least one of those triggers while school is in session.

If you experience symptoms of migraine headaches, read on for a few things you can do to figure out what might be causing your headaches and how to make them feel better. Continue reading