Frequent Migraines? It May Be Time to See a Doctor

Woman with migraine headache

You can feel it coming on. Light hurts your eyes. Whispers grate on your ears. The pounding in your head reminds you of a construction zone.

Yep. It’s a migraine. And according to Benjamin Montgomery, MD, with Memorial Physician Services in Jacksonville, it can last anywhere from two to 72 hours.

“The pain is usually concentrated on one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and vomiting,” Dr. Montgomery said. “It makes you basically miserable.”

About 6 percent of men and 18 percent of women will get a migraine this year. Although it affects every age, middle-aged women are the most likely to suffer from the headaches.

In a recent radio interview with Bob Murray from WTAX, Dr. Montgomery said the migraines are caused by nerves and vascular issues.

“Irritated nerves in and around the brain are the cause,” he said. “And then also irritated blood vessels that release inflammation into the bloods vessels in and around the brain.”

To prevent migraines, Dr. Montgomery suggests keeping a headache diary to know what your triggers might be and to stay healthy with the steps below:

  • Get plenty of good sleep.
  • Eat a good diet.
  • Get regular exercise.

Acupuncture care, chiropractic care and massage therapy have all been shown to decrease migraines as well, he said.

When you find yourself reaching for the Tylenol or Motrin more than once or twice a week to relieve symptoms, it’s time to see your doctor for an evaluation.

“We do have medicines that can help knock out the migraine,” Dr. Montgomery said. “They help to modulate the nerve and vessels around the migraine to help end the migraine. They’re not painkillers; they actually stop the migraine process.”