ZocdocAnswersWhat should I do about my constant migraine headaches?

Question

What should I do about my constant migraine headaches?

I am 26 years old and I've been having migraines probably since I was 13 years old. I've tried all kinds of over the counter medicine and some of them do work for me but I was wondering if there was any other option out there that would help me with this. The migraines are constant, at least once a week and it takes almost all day for them to go away. thank you.

Answer

Migraine headaches can be a very frustrating condition for people who suffer from these recurrent headaches. As you have mentioned, there are some medications that are available over-the-counter for migraine relief, but it sounds as though these have not significantly helped with your headaches. For people who do suffer from recurrent headaches, it is often best to see a neurologist--and there are neurologists who specialize in headaches--to more fully evaluate and help manage the pain and disruption to your activity. There are several reasons this can be very helpful. First of all, not all recurrent headaches are migraines and the treatment options may be different depending on what kind of chronic headache you have. A physician can take a more detailed history of your headaches--when they started, what brings them on, what makes them better, what triggers them--to try and determine whether you do have migraines or perhaps another kind of chronic headache syndrome. Second, beyond over-the-counter medication, there are multiple prescription options for treating migraines. There are medications that can be used to abort migraines when you feel one coming on as well as medications that can be taken on a daily basis to try and decrease the frequency of headaches. When used properly and under the supervision of a physician, a combination of these options can be very useful in helping people control their symptoms and decrease the frequency and severity of headaches. As always, however, prescription medications do have risks and benefits which is why discussing the options with a physician is so important. In preparation for your meeting with a neurologist, it can be very helpful to have a 'headache diary' where you keep track of your headaches. If you can come to a scheduled appointment with some additional background information about exactly how often and under what circumstances your headaches arise, this can be very useful.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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