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Migraines are often debilitating when not treated and could indicate an underlying problem. At the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders (DCND), offering services to adults in Dayton, Centerville, Springfield, Eaton, Wilmington, Hillsboro, Beavercreek, and Huber Heights, Ohio, the skilled neurology team diagnoses and offers treatments for migraines to reduce pain and enhance your quality of life. To get help for migraines, the first step is getting a referral from your primary care physician. Then, DCND will call you to set up your appointment.

Migraines Q & A

What are migraines?

Migraines cause head pain, often accompanied by numerous other symptoms. The Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team sees patients dealing with migraines and headaches that appear regularly. They offer numerous highly effective migraine treatments that diminish crippling symptoms.

What does it feel like to have a migraine?

Migraine symptoms often appear as:

  • Moderate to severe head pain
  • Throbbing head pain
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Visual or sensory disturbances
  • Pain in your temples
  • Pain behind one eye
  • Odor sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Migraine auras

Migraine auras often appear for about 5-60 minutes before a migraine begins. Auras are characterized as seeing blind spots, shimmering spots, stars, zigzag lines, vision irregularities, flashes of light, or blurred vision. You might also experience vertigo, numbness, tingling, speech problems, or weakness.

Chronic migraines are defined as having more than 15 headaches, including at least eight migraines, each month.

What are the different types of headaches?

Headaches are similar to migraines as they cause head pain. Common types of headaches include:

Tension headaches

Tension headaches cause moderate pain across your forehead, your neck, or the back of your head. They may feel like a tight band around your forehead. Tension headaches are more common among women. Their triggers include dehydration, screentime, stress, and alcohol. 

Sinus headaches

Sinus headaches cause pressure near the sinuses in your face and often congestion or nasal drainage. Sinus headaches are often confused with migraines due to similar symptoms. 

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches cause severe, recurrent headaches characterized by sharp pain in one eye. They may appear for weeks at a time and commonly wake you up during sleep. You might also have tearing or redness in one eye or nasal congestion. Cluster headaches are more common in men, although they are rare.

Thunderclap headaches

Thunderclap headaches are severe headaches characterized by intense pain. They may indicate a severe medical issue, such as a stroke or aneurysm, that requires immediate medical attention.

How are migraines treated?

The Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team offers numerous treatments for migraines, including:

  • Botulinum toxin (Botox®) injections
  • Sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG) blocks
  • Medications
  • Avoiding triggers

It’s vital to manage possible migraine triggers, including alcohol, caffeine, weather changes, hormone fluctuations, or certain foods. Genetics, lack of sleep, stress, anxiety, and skipping meals also play a role in developing migraines.

SPG blocks deliver local anesthetic to trigeminal nerve cells in the nasal passages to reduce headache pain.

You might take abortive medications if you want a headache to go away immediately. Take such medicines during the onset of a migraine. Preventive medications are an option if you experience frequent migraine symptoms more than four days per month.

If you need help managing migraines, the first step is to request a referral from your primary care physician. Then the Dayton Center for Neurological Disorders team will call you to set up your appointment.