Migraine headaches can be debilitating and cause other symptoms in addition to the headache pain. A severe migraine attack can last for hours or days, and the pain can interfere with everyday activities. Our primary care doctors in Manhattan design the best migraine treatment plan aimed at preventing the symptoms and reducing the likelihood of future attacks. Our trusted Manhattan primary care providers and best internal medicine doctors are among the top migraine treatment specialists in New York.
What are the Symptoms of a Migraine Headache?
People may begin having migraines during childhood or adolescence or early adulthood. There are four stages to a migraine, and which include prodromal, aura, attack, and post prodromal. Not everyone will experience all stages.
Warning signs of migraine headache can include:
- Prodromal, where signs develop one or two days before a migraine and which can include mood changes, having food cravings, feeling constipated, noticing you are thirsty and need to urinate more frequently.
- An aura can affect each person differently, as some people might lose part of their vision, while others will see bright spots or flashing lights. It can cause ringing in the ears. Some people will notice their lips or lower face, or their fingers have begun to tingle with pins and needles. An aura can last anywhere from a few minutes to an hour, with most lasting 15 to 30 minutes.
- A severe headache that may be throbbing and which might only affect one side of the head. The headache may worsen over several hours.
- Sensitivity to light and noise
- Nausea and possibly vomiting
After having a migraine, the post prodromal phase may make you feel confused and drained.
Diagnosis and Migraine Treatment in Midtown NYC and New York’s Upper East Side
Some factors may make you more prone to having headaches. For example, your family history, your age, as the frequency of migraines can reach a peak when you are in your 30s.
Women are up to three times more likely to have migraines. This is often because of hormonal changes during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause.
Often, migraines are underdiagnosed and untreated, but if you frequently have the signs and symptoms of migraine, make a note of your attacks and how you treated them. Take this record with you when you see our primary care physician to discuss your headaches.
Sometimes migraines can be triggered by alcoholic or caffeinated drinks, or salty and processed foods or food additives. Other triggers can include sensory stimuli such as strong smells, medications, stress, and even changes to the weather. This is why keeping a headache diary can be so useful.
A primary care doctor NYC may diagnose migraine headaches based on your medical history and symptoms, and after a physical and neurological examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to carry out other tests such as an MRI or CT scan. Based on this information, our primary care doctor can design the best migraine treatment plan aimed at preventing the symptoms and reducing the likelihood of future attacks.
Your migraine headache treatment will depend on the severity and frequency of your headaches, whether you have other symptoms like nausea and vomiting, and if you have other medical conditions. The medicines used to treat migraines can be pain relieving, and these are taken during attacks and are designed to stop the symptoms, or they can be preventive medications. Preventive medications are usually taken daily to help reduce the frequency and severity of migraines.
Medicines Used for Migraine Headache Treatment
The medicines used for migraine treatment include the following:
- Prescription or over-the-counter pain relievers. These include ibuprofen and aspirin.
- Triptans are prescription drugs taken as a nasal spray, an injection or in pill form and which block the pain pathways to the brain.
- Opioid medication can be helpful for people needing chronic migraine treatment and who cannot take other medications. These medications contain codeine and can be highly addictive and are only prescribed when other treatments are ineffective.
- Dihydroergotamines are prescribed as an injection or nasal spray and are used soon after the symptoms begin. These medications tend to be most effective for migraines lasting longer than 24 hours.
- Anti-nausea medication can be useful if your symptoms include nausea and vomiting.
There are many different medicines that can help with migraines and our New York physicians in Midtown or on Upper East Side, NY can help you find the best treatment for your situation. We look forwarding to meeting you.
Preventive Medications for Migraine Headache Treatment
If you have frequent migraines, preventive medications may be useful, and which will help to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. Possible options include:
- Antidepressants like amitriptyline can prevent migraines.
- Botox injections given every 12 weeks can be a useful migraine headache treatment for some adults.
- Antiseizure drugs can help people who have less frequent migraines.
- Beta-blockers or blood pressure lowering medications can help prevent migraines with aura.
Medications can cause side-effects, and we will discuss each option with you to determine the best migraine treatment for your needs. Often, lifestyle and home remedies can be useful in conjunction with medication.
Home Remedies That Can Help Migraine Treatment
- When you notice the symptoms of a migraine beginning to start, try to lie down in a quiet, dark room to rest or nap. Some people like to place an ice pack or cool cloth at the back of their neck or on their forehead.
- Stick to a regular sleeping routine and try to eat at the same time each day.
- Drink plenty of fluids and especially water.
- Take regular exercise as aerobic exercise can reduce tension but be sure to warm up slowly as exercising too suddenly and intensely can cause headaches.
- Keep a headache diary as you may notice factors that trigger migraines, and which can help us to adjust and further customize your migraine headache treatment during your next appointment.
Other Remedies for Chronic Migraine Treatment
Some other remedies can be very helpful for chronic migraine treatment and include:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy that can teach you how thoughts and behaviors affect your perception of pain.
- Biofeedback is a relaxation technique that can help you to monitor and control specific physical responses related to stress, for example, muscle tension.
Common Triggers for Migraines:
Common triggers for migraines may include stress, hormonal changes, skipping meals, weather changes, flashing lights, certain food/drink, and sleeping too much or too little.
If you have any of these symptoms, suffer from Migraine Headaches or think you may, you should see one of our best in class NYC internists and primary care doctors for a comprehensive evaluation for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.