Top Neurologist Migraine Specialist in bakersfield, ca
Understanding & Treating Your Migraines
Migraine is a neurological condition that causes multiple symptoms, characterized by intense, debilitating headaches. Migraine is different from other headaches and is accompanied by additional symptoms. Approximately 12% of the U.S. population experiences migraine, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. An activation of the nerve fibers in the blood vessels of the brain is the cause of many migraines. Migraine attacks may last for several hours or even days, and the pain may be so intense it interferes with your daily activities.
Migraines may develop in childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood. Women are more likely to experience migraines than men. One of the most common risk factors for migraines is family history. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, a child who has one parent with migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and if both parents have migraine, the chance rises to 75%.
A migraine typically progresses through four stages, although not everyone experiences all four stages. The four stages of a migraine are prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.
Four Stages of a Migraine
Prodrome usually occurs a day or two before a migraine begins, with symptoms that warn of the upcoming migraine. Prodrome symptoms include:
- Mood changes, from depression to euphoria
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
- Increased thirst and urination
- Frequent yawning
Some people may have auras before or during a migraine, others do not experience auras. Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. Auras may be visual disturbances but may also involve other neurological sensations. Aura symptoms usually begin slowly and build up over several minutes lasting from 20 to 60 minutes. Approximately 30% of people who suffer a migraine experience aura.
Examples of aura symptoms include:
- Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light
- Vision loss or dark spots
- Tingling sensations in an arm or leg
- Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body
- Difficulty speaking (aphasia)
- Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
- Hearing noises or music
- Uncontrollable jerking or other movements
The post-drome stage is the recovery stage of a migraine. Typically, a migraine attack fades slowly and moves into this recovery stage. Sudden head movements may cause brief pain. After a migraine attack you may feel drained, tired, and wiped out for a day. There are some people who report feelings of euphoria during the post-drome stage.
The attack phase is the main stage of a migraine, the painful phase that includes the headache and other symptoms. It typically lasts anywhere from 4 to 72 hours if it continues untreated. The frequency of migraines varies, some people experience them on rare occasions, others may have them several times a month.
During a migraine attack, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Throbbing, pulsing pain on one or both sides of the head
- extreme sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells
- worsening pain during physical activity
- nausea and vomiting
- abdominal pain or heartburn
- blurred vision
- loss of appetite
Many people who experience migraine attacks will seek a quiet, dark place to lie down to avoid sound, light and movement which may make a migraine more painful. This is a characteristic of migraines that differs from other types of headaches. Some people find that sleeping for a few hours may help to end a migraine attack.
Treatment for Migraines
For some people, over-the-counter pain medications may be enough to relieve their symptoms, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, acetaminophen (Tylenol), and Excedrin (aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine). Those whose symptoms don’t respond to over-the-counter medications should reach out to a top migraine specialist, a neurologist specializing in migraine treatment in Bakersfield, CA.
It is important to have your migraines properly diagnosed to find the proper treatment plan. California Neurology Institute use their expertise as a migraine specialist to accurately diagnose and treat your migraines. When you meet with our doctors in Bakersfield, California, they will thoroughly review your specific medical history and symptoms, conduct a tailored neurological exam, and provide you with a diagnosis and treatment plan. Neurological exams could consist of a CT scan, MRI, or EEG depending on your specific symptoms.
If you are experiencing at least six migraines per month, or experience three per month that severely interfere with your daily activities, then one of our migraine specialists in Bakersfield, CA, Dr. Virdi, may recommend the following preventative medications to reduce your migraine symptoms:
- beta-blockers, such as propranolol or timolol, for high blood pressure or coronary diseases
- calcium channel blockers, such as verapamil, for high blood pressure
- tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, for controlling serotonin and other chemicals in your brain
- antiseizure drugs, such as valproate (in moderate doses)
- pain relievers, such as naproxen
- CGRP antagonists, a new class of drugs approved to prevent migraines
As with all medications, there may be side effects experienced. You should also speak with your migraine specialist about lifestyle changes that can help decrease migraines. Some of those lifestyle changes include ensuring you receive adequate sleep, avoiding certain foods that may trigger attacks, staying hydrated, and quitting smoking. Some people also seek alternative treatments for migraines, such as acupuncture, cognitive behavioral therapy, herbs, riboflavin (B-2), and magnesium supplements.
If you are experiencing migraines, then contact the top migraine specialist in Bakersfield, California, Maheep Virdi, MD. Migraines can be debilitating and the sooner you receive a diagnosis and treatment, the faster you will experience relief from migraine symptoms. Contact California Neurology Institute for a neurologist specializing in migraines in Bakersfield, California.
California Neurology Institute, our Physicians, and Staff specialize in treating all adult and adolescent neurology needs.
8335 Brimhall Rd Bldg. 1100
Bakersfield, CA 93312
Monday - Friday
8 AM - 5 PM
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8335 Brimhall Rd Bldg. 1100, Bakersfield, CA 93312
Monday - Friday 8 AM - 5 PM