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Perhaps the title of this entry is a bit misleading, but studies over the years have shown a connection between auras during the onset of a migraine attack and premature stroke.
What's interesting about these studies, is that I am a sufferer of auras. I never understood what I was experiencing until I spoke with my neurologist and Jacki Ochs. Out of ignorance, I described them as dizzy spots but more immense.
In lay terms, aura is a sort of blindness related to migraine attacks. Before or even during the attack, the sufferer sees little colorful spots, which manifest into larger splotches. In my experience,they have been small colorful blindspots, which grow slightly larger, and often have a "strobing" effect between color and blackness.
I don't experience the full effect as many people do; mine are mild at best. What becomes difficult, however, is walking or driving long distances, as these little blindspots tend to throw off depth perception, and of course, block out areas of view.
Interesting is the fact they are most common with women. One study suggests high levels of estrogen in animals contributed to auras and premature stroke or stroke symptoms.
It's hard to say what this means in a definite sense, as migraine research is behind due to a severe lack of funds. Overseas, many countries are begining to use the phrase "Chronic Migraine Disease", while in the United States migraines are listed as a low-level disorder, which is often taken lightly.
Aura + Women SOURCE.
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Migraines happen. It's a real downer, but it's definitely not the end of the world.
For me, the worst part of a migraine is that it never ends. Sometimes you wish you could just drill a hole in your head to release the pressure, or maybe have a root-canal performed on you to redirect the pain.
You can't really control when migraines attack either. Whether at work or play, migraines do not care, and sometimes they come on at the most inopportune moments, such as an important meeting, a rare social outing, or while taking a test.
There are "medicines" out there, but there's only one sure thing you can do to take on a migraine:
Have a Plan
You can't prevent all migraines, but here are some ways to plan for them to either a) know how you can get through the day with them or b) live around them. The latter is unfortunate, since no one wants to be controlled by pain.
1. Keep a Journal
This is rather difficult to maintain sometimes, but it's important to jot down the times and days you tend to experience a migraine. This way you can figure out if there are any patterns in your behavior. For instance, where were you when a migraine came on, what were you doing, and did you notice any sort of trigger? (A trigger is something that induces a migraine or something you notice right before a migraine strikes, such as a smells or a nervous twitch.)
2. Have a Remedy Ready
Whether it's medicines, treatments, or just being home, have a plan of attack. Again, try different things to relieve your migraines and scribble down what works and what doesn't. This way you'll be able to know what to do in case of a migraine.
Example of Intense Stimuli
3. Avoid Stressors and Intense Stimuli
What makes a migraine difficult to deal with, is the fact it can be debilitating. That said, if you want to avoid the feeling of being useless (and trust me, others probably will not understand why you cannot perform at 100%), try to avoid stressful situations altogether.
Avoid Intense Stimuli: Meaning don't do anything that you would normally consider a brain-teaser. More accurately, don't strain your eyes. This will only make things much worse. And if something arouses high energy, I would avoid that too. You're not going to be able to run eight miles - and as for the sex myth, that's more for regular tension headaches.
Episodes and Information Related to Migraines.