Experts are not fully aware of the causative factors behind migraine headaches. Research indicates that it may be a genetic neurological disease that is the result of overly sensitive brain neurons. Other studies link the condition to imbalanced bite forces in the mouth and problems related to the temporomandibular joint, the “hinge” that connects the jaw to the skull.
The second factor is only now becoming widely understood in the general medical community, but it’s what we have always focused on here at Charlotte Headache Center. In fact, our cutting-edge approach is responsible for the impressive results we have achieved in successfully treating migraine sufferers who were unable find relief despite years or even decades of previous failed therapies.
Quick migraine facts
Approximately 18 percent of women in the U.S. and 6 percent of men suffer from migraines, affecting a total of over 37 million Americans. About 19 percent of Iraq War veterans also suffer from chronic migraines. The World Health Organization categorizes a severe migraine attack as being as disabling as having quadriplegia. This is the level of distress you, your friends, family members or coworkers may be living with as a chronic migraine sufferer.
As if experiencing an excruciating headache wasn’t enough, migraines often come with additional symptoms, including:
- Blurry vision, flashing lights, and other visual symptoms
- One-sided paralysis known as “hemiplegia”
- A one-sided, throbbing or pulsating mild to severe headache
- The impaired ability to comprehend or use words called “aphasia”
- Vomiting or nausea
- Difficulty thinking clearly or concentrating
- Loss of hearing or decrease in hearing
- Extreme fatigue
- Retention or dehydration of fluids
- Vertigo or dizziness
- Hypersensitivity to touch and feel known as “allodynia”
Possible migraine triggers
If you’re migraine is related to neurological factors, you can try to pinpoint what sparked it. Retracing your steps for the 24 hours prior to your migraine may help you piece together any specific triggers. Food sensitivities to chemical additives such as MSG are definitive triggers for some people. Fragrance is another huge issue for some. Simply walking by a person who is wearing a strong perfume or cologne can send some people into a migraine nightmare. Crowded places that are noisy are often avoided to minimize stressful exposure.
Additional triggers include:
- Changes in altitude and weather
- Fluorescent lights/flickering lights
- Bright lights
- Certain foods
- Chemical smells from cleaners, exhaust, toiletries
If you find that your migraines can’t be tied to these or any common environmental trigger, you may be dealing with a bite force migraine that will require special treatment like the kind offered at Charlotte Headache Center.
Talk to your loved ones
It is important that your loved ones know about your migraines so that they know what to do if they are in your presence when one occurs. People can prepare themselves to help you much better if they know how to give you what you need during a difficult attack. For instance, many migraine sufferers need to retreat to a darkened room to lose themselves in a quiet, peaceful space with no auditory or visual stimulation. This can be a seemingly impossible task if you are taking care of small children, needy pets or elderly loved ones. Ask for help when you need it. Explain that you need to disappear until you feel better.
It is unfortunate that many people rely on the “migraine headache” excuse to call in sick to work. If you suspect that your boss does not fully comprehend this disabling medical condition, speak with him or her further. Perhaps a note from your doctor or a specialist referral will help them understand the severity of your condition.
Don’t feel guilty
Studies indicate that many migraine sufferers feel guilty about missing out on family events and having to miss work at times. Guilty feelings are not going to speed up your healing process. Know that you will get to the bottom of this eventually. Ask yourself if you have exhausted all avenues of preventive treatment. Of particular importance, have you considered visiting a specially trained dentist who might be able to correct the root cause of your migraines? If not, this could be the treatment you’ve been looking for.
Dr. Robert Harrell at Charlotte Headache Center uses an FDA approved system that combines therapies from the the fields of sports medicine and neuromuscular dentistry to balance the forces in your mouth that can lead to debilitating chronic migraine headaches. The treatment is completely drug-free, pain-free and non-invasive.
If you have been unable to find relief for your migraines, it’s time to try a completely new approach. Make an appointment with us for an assessment exam today by calling 704-540-5850 or use the contact form on this page. In less than 20 minutes we’ll be able to tell you whether you’re a candidate for our breakthrough treatment system. If you are, an individual treatment plan will be created to address your issues and alleviate your migraines for good. We look forward to hearing from you.