View Entire Collection
By Clinical Topic
By State Requirement
Diabetes – Summer 2012
Fluids & Electrolytes
Future of Nursing Initiative
Heart Failure - Fall 2011
Influenza - Winter 2011
Nursing Ethics - Fall 2011
Trauma - Fall 2010
Traumatic Brain Injury - Fall 2010
Throbbing and painful, migraine headaches can range from moderate to severe in intensity. Movement, light, sounds, or smells can make them worse, and they may come with nausea, vomiting, vision problems, and sensitivity to sounds and light. Migraines are much more intense and painful than ordinary tension headaches. They may last from 4 to 72 hours and can disrupt your life.
During a migraine, the blood vessels in your head narrow and widen, causing pain. Physical or mental stress or certain foods may trigger a migraine. But the exact cause isn't known.
You may feel intense, throbbing pain on one or both sides of your head. Some people see zigzags or flashes of light. Other symptoms include:
* tingling or numbness on one side of your body and trouble speaking
* loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting
* feeling of tenderness in your head and neck
* sensitivity to light and sounds.
No test can diagnose migraines, so your healthcare provider will ask you questions about your symptoms and perform an exam. He may order tests, such as X-rays and scans, to rule out other causes for your headaches. If no other cause is found, he'll make the diagnosis based on your symptoms.
Your healthcare provider may prescribe medicine to help lessen the pain and suggest that you make some changes in your lifestyle. He may also prescribe medications to help you have fewer migraines.
When you're having a migraine, take your prescribed medicine as soon as it starts-don't wait for the pain to get worse. Then lie down in a dark, quiet room and place a cold cloth over your eyes.
There are some lifestyle changes you can make to help prevent migraines:
* Change your diet. Don't skip meals, but avoid foods that may trigger migraines. (See Change your diet to prevent migraines.) These can vary from person to person, so keep a "headache diary" and write down the foods you ate before a migraine started. This helps you identify foods you should avoid.
* Develop goodsleep habits. Stick to a schedule to go to sleep and wake up, even on the weekends.
* Take medicine as prescribed. Use aspirin or acetaminophen (Tylenol) for pain, unless you shouldn't take these medicines for some reason. Your healthcare provider will prescribe a stronger pain medication if you need it. Be sure to take it exactly as prescribed because overuse of some medications can make migraines worse.
* Reduce stress in your life. Regularly practice relaxation techniques such as yoga, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, or biofeedback. Your healthcare provider can help you learn more about these stress reducers.
These foods may trigger migraines. Avoid them if you get migraines after eating or drinking them.
* beverages or foods containing caffeine
* dairy products
* cheddar, mozzarella, Parmesan, provolone, and Romano cheeses
* hotdogs, salami, cold cuts, and bacon
* chicken livers and smoked fish
* MSG (monosodium glutamate)
* figs, avocados, onions, and bananas
* nuts and peanut butter
* red wine
Source: American Medical Association. Complete Medical Encyclopedia. New York, NY: Random House Reference; 2003.
For life-long learning and continuing professional development, come to Lippincott's NursingCenter.
Malignant Melanoma: Advances in Treatment
Journal of the Dermatology Nurses' Association, May/June 2014
Expires: 6/30/2016 CE:2.3 $20.00
Writing for Nursing Publication
Journal of Pediatric Surgical Nursing, April/June 2014
Expires: 6/30/2016 CE:2.8 $24.95
The Growing Global Pertussis Problem
Journal of Christian Nursing, July/September 2014
Expires: 9/30/2016 CE:2.5 $24.95
More CE Articles
Subscribe to Recommended CE
Why Do We Still Eat Our Young?: Strategies and Interventions to Decrease Workplace Bullying
Professional Case Management, July/August 2014
Free access will expire on September 1, 2014.
Safety Issues at the End of Life in the Home Setting
Home Healthcare Nurse, July/August 2014
Free access will expire on August 18, 2014.
Managing hemodynamics: Using medications to influence the sympathetic nervous system
Nursing2014 Critical Care, July 2014
Free access will expire on August 18, 2014.
More Recommended Articles
Subscribe to Recommended Articles
Back to Top