When a migraine happens, it can sideline you from work, family affairs, and daily life. About 39 million people in the U.S. get them, and there are some early warning signs you should know about and new medications on the horizon.
The throbbing and pounding effects of a migraine can be debilitating.
“It’s very common in people that are in their most productive years of life. It’s one of the leading causes of disability worldwide,” said Dr. Teshamae Monteith, chief of the headache division at the Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami.
Feeling tired can be an early warning sign of a migraine coming on.
Having too little sleep can cause changes in proteins that help regulate the sensory response in migraines.
Aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep per night is ideal for migraine sufferers.
Another sign? Changes in vision.
“By looking at the small blood vessels in the eye, you can get a clue to the presence of disease in other parts of the body.”
As a migraine is about to occur, you may experience blind spots or see flashing lights or auras.
Taking medications as soon as you notice any of these symptoms can lessen the effects of the migraine.
Pain in the jaw joint is also linked to migraines.
Researchers found chewing gum while you have jaw pain can worsen the migraine.
Last year, the Federal Drug Administration approved a medication called Qulipta which recently accepted Zavegepant for review.
If this new drug is approved, it will be the only nasal spray application for the treatment of migraines.
“If we can very specifically target this CGRP protein, then hopefully we can prevent the occurrence of migraines.”
One more warning sign: changes in the weather. A Japanese study found three out of four migraine sufferers reported the onset of a migraine with a drop in barometric pressure.
A sweet tooth or change of mood is not uncommon when a migraine swoops in, according to many sufferers.