Neurologist gives advice on how to treat & prevent migraines

Published: Jun. 23, 2023 at 5:15 PM EDT
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BANGOR, Maine (WABI) - June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

American Migraine Foundation reports that migraine is the third most common disease in the world, and impacts over 37 million men, women, and children in the U.S. The World Health Organization classifies migraine as one of the 10 most disabling medical illnesses worldwide.

Man holding his head
Man holding his head(Pexels)

Despite the prevalence, many people do not seek out medical attention for migraines or headaches. However, Inland Hospital neurologist Dr. Muhammad Zakariya Alam advises that if you are struggling with migraines or frequent headaches, visiting your primary care provider can be a great first step in establishing a personal care plan.

“Fortunately, this is one of the few neurological conditions that does have a very well-established treatment that is available that can have a huge positive impact on quality of life,” says Alam.

Migraines are a type of headache that include other symptoms, such as sound and light sensitivity, nausea, and vomiting. Migraines are unique, so what triggers migraines will differ from person to person. Alam suggests identifying your own triggers and avoiding them as best as possible.

To treat migraines, Alam credits both pharmaceuticals and lifestyle changes.

“We have a pharmacological approach and a non-pharmacological approach, both we use in tandem to try and prevent people from having worsening migraines,” says Alam.

For medicinal remedies, people can take pain relievers like Tylenol and Ibuprofen, or anti-nausea medication depending on the symptoms. It is recommended to take medicine as soon as possible to ensure the fastest and most effective results. Botox has even been found to relieve symptoms for those struggling with chronic migraines.

For non-pharmacological treatments, you should make sure that you are getting enough sleep, eating balanced meals, staying hydrated, getting exercise, and not smoking cigarettes.

It is important to know that migraines are not something to take lightly. It can be a very debilitating illness that can affect your work performance, time with loved ones, and accessibility. With various treatments available, no one should have to struggle with migraines alone.