Martha Jefferson Monday: Migraines - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Martha Jefferson Monday: What are the signs, symptoms and treatment options for migraines?

There are a lot of different things that can precipitate a migraine. Depending on the person, different things might trigger the pain. 

Whether brought on by stress, alcohol (especially red wine), sleep deprivation, bright lights or certain smells, migraines can cause people a great deal of pain. 

"Common symptoms of a migraine include having pain on one side of the head rather than both sides," said Dr. Laura Howard, a physician with Palmyra Medical Associates.  "Migraines can also cause throbbing. A lot of people have sensitivity to light or sound. Some people have nausea and if it's very severe, some people even throw up." 

Migraines occur when there is increased blood flow to the brain. Doctors do a full clinical exam if a person has symptoms.  Treatment is then based off of what the patient is experiencing. 

"If someone is having more than a couple of migraine type headaches a week, or when they have them if they are so severe they have to miss work, for example, we will consider putting them on a preventative medication which they would take every day," said Howard. 

If symptoms are less severe, patients are put on medication to treat the pain at each specific instance. 

While some people might push a hurting head off as a sinus headache or something that will pass with time, Howard says it's critical to see a doctor if your headaches are worse when you lie down, your head hurts when you get up in the morning, or if the problem is causing you to miss work or other daily activities. 

If you would like more information on migraines, or would like to find a physician who can help, call Health Connection at (434) 654-7009. 

If you have a question you would like the answer to, email healthquestions@nbc29.com

Do you have health questions? Starting June 4, get the answers every Monday morning from the experts at Martha Jefferson Hospital in our new feature: Martha Jefferson Monday.

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Submit your questions now! Just click this link and write your question in the email. Then tune in every Monday morning during NBC29 News at Sunrise for Martha Jefferson Monday brought to you by NBC29 and Martha Jefferson Hospital.

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