Millions of Americans suffer from migraines every day. Are you one? Learn how to cope and seek relief.

Living with migraines

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Are you experiencing chronic headaches that are interfering with your day-to-day routine? If so, you are not alone. Millions of Americans suffer from migraines every day. In fact, they are becoming more recognizable as a chronic issue because of the variety of triggers that can lead to migraines, specifically stress.

To help those living with migraines, Dr. Amelito Malapria from Sentara Neurology Specialists has offered this advice on how to cope with and seek relief from this common medical condition.

How does someone know when they should seek clinical help for their migraines?

  • They notice an increase in the frequency of their migraines  
  • It is affecting their ability to function 
  • The migraine no longer goes away with over-the-counter medications 
  • They notice a change in the character and pattern of their migraines

And, what kind of healthcare provider should they make an appointment with? 

After first consulting with their primary care team, a neurologist can be helpful in the management of migraines.

Unfortunately for most migraine sufferers, the frequency and duration of a migraine can occur several times in a year and work only allows for so many sick days. What are some tips that migraine sufferers can use to make their work day easier?

First, identify your triggers and learn how to manage stress with relaxation techniques. Then, try to make adjustments to your work environment, such as:

  • Use an ergonomic chair
  • Use an anti-glare computer screen
  • Change your lighting to non-fluorescent or use a fluorescent filter
  • Use sunglasses if needed
  • Stay in a less chaotic area
  • Ensure a fragrance-free environment
  • Stay hydrated
  • Eat regular meals and always have healthy snacks on hand

If I’m plagued with a migraine at work, what can I do to treat it and ease the pain? 

  • Take your prescribed migraine medication
  • Take a break as soon as it starts 
  • Place an ice pack on your head
  • Move to a quiet and dark environment
  • Try relaxation techniques
  • If it persists, consider going home to recover  

Not knowing when a migraine will occur can cause anxiety for those who want to travel. What advice do you give patients with migraines when they are planning to travel?

  • Planning is the key, so be aware of your triggers and pay attention to your wellness 
  • Be sure to eat a light meal before traveling and stock up on snacks and water
  • Limit caffeine use and avoid alcohol
  • Get good sleep before you travel
  • Bring ear plugs, an eye cover, good quality sunglasses and soothing music
  • Do not forget to bring your migraine medications or other homeopathic remedies which have been helpful in the past