June is National Headache & Migraine Awareness Month. The theme for 2019 is "Sowing the Seeds." Please like, comment and share our universal social media posts throughout June and use the official hashtags: #MHAM #MHAM19 #SowingTheSeeds
A Plethora of Migraine Preventive Treatment Options
For those of us with three or more Migraines a month and whose Migraines are especially severe and debilitating, it's generally recommended that we find effective Migraine prevention. While most treatments are still prescribed off-label, there are so many to choose from.
History of Migraine & Headache Awareness Month
Migraine and Headache Awareness Month began in 2012, expanding on the original Migraine and Headache Awareness Week, created by the National Headache Foundation (NHF). Each year’s theme is sets by the NHF, too.
Anatomy of a Migraine Attack
Many people think only of a "bad headache" when they think "Migraine" or "Migraine attack." In reality, a Migraine attack consists of far more. The typical Migraine attack actually consists of four parts, referred to as phases or components: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.
Migraine treatments are probably the most discussed issue among patients with Migraine because of their huge impact on our lives. Discussions of Migraine treatments can be quite confusing. Migraine treatments fall into three categories – preventive, abortive, and rescue.
Comparing CGRP Blockers for Migraine Prevention
Comparing CGRP blockers is the next big challenge for Migraine patients. Now that we have three new preventive options specifically designed for Migraine, we’re faced with that all-important question: Which one should we choose: Aimovig, Ajovy, or Emgality?
Detailing and Delving into the Types of Migraine
Most people are probably familiar with the two main types of Migraine – Migraine without Aura and Migraine with Aura, but that barely scratches the surface of the types of Migraine and the subtypes. This can be valuable information, so we’re going to delve into the types of Migraine as well as the subtypes.
Strategies for Accessing CGRP Blocking Migraine Treatments
Knowing our options gives us the power to make informed decisions. It also prepares us with realistic expectations. Both are necessary if we’re to form a winning game plan. Take a look at the many options available to help us gain access to these new treatments.
Blue light from electronic screens may trigger Migraine attacks. The visual stimulation from electronic device screens can overload our brains, putting us at a distinct disadvantage. Many Migraine specialists recommend limiting screen time to their patients. While that’s one way to avoid a Migraine attack, it can limit our ability to communicate with others, engage in social activities, and limit our career options. Fortunately, there’s another strategy. We can block the light spectrum most often responsible for triggering a Migraine attack with software or physical filters. These tools allow us to maintain our current activities without risking another attack.
Strategies to block blue light
Just as there are hearing aids for those with hearing loss and eyeglasses for those with low vision, there are apps and devices for those of us with sensitivity to electronic screens. We don’t necessarily have to give up technology to avoid a Migraine attack.
Blue light from computer screens
F.lux is a free software download that allows you to adjust the lighting on your computer screen. It is an improvement over simply adjusting the brightness of your screen. Instead, it blocks the light spectrum that is a common Migraine trigger. This same light can inhibit our body’s natural production of melatonin. When we use electronic devices late at night, light from the screen can interfere with sleep. F.lux filters out this light, allowing us to maintain healthy sleep patterns even when we must use our electronic devices at night.
Blue light from cell phones and tablets
Many newer cell phones and tablets have built-in screen settings that block the spectrum of blue light that interferes with sleep and may trigger Migraine attacks. If your device doesn’t have this option, you can install the Blue Light Filter. It’s a free app that can be downloaded to your Android mobile device.
Blue light from florescent lighting
An FL-41 tint can be applied to your prescription glasses. This tint filters light in the same way as f.lux or Blue Light Filter. The advantage is that you can wear them everywhere, blocking harsh lighting in stores, office buildings, and even outdoors. The tint is also available in non-prescription sunglasses. There are two companies that offer this tint: Axon Optics and Theraspecs. Both offer a variety of frames and will make lenses for your own frames. Only Theraspecs makes bifocal lenses.
I regularly use all three of these tools to minimize light triggers. By using these simple tools, I avoid a potent Migraine trigger and enjoy more Migraine-free days. The harsh lighting of department stores, florescent lighting, and even movie theater screens no longer cause problems. These simple, non-invasive, non-prescription options allow me to live life on my own terms without worrying about the next Migraine attack.