I have been getting migraines all my life, and i am only 17. It makes school and life difficult having one at least once or twice a week. All of my migraines occur around my eyes. I recently heard that if you have blue rings around your eye it shows bad blood flow that could be causing my migraines. Is there any truth in this statement? and if so how can i fix it cause my headaches have made getting good grades in high school difficult since i miss so many days and i can't afford to still be getting migraines in my future. Thanks, Shelley.
No, what you heard about rings around the eyes is total myth; no truth to it whatsoever.
Migraine is a neurological disease. Some people with the disease, get Migraines only occasionally, and don't need to do much about it. Others get frequent Migraines and need to be under a doctor's care and work with the doctor to manage the disease.
Do you know what triggers your Migraines? There are many things that can trigger a Migraine. Here are some examples:
- Sleep issues -- too much, too little, disrupted, or poor quality sleep.
- Skipping meals
- Barometric pressure changes / changes in the weather
- Odors -- perfumes, cleaning supplies, other chemical smells
- Hormonal fluctuations
- Flashing, flickering, or very bright lights
- Some foods
Trigger identification and management is a vital component of managing Migraine disease. One of the best tools for identifying triggers is a good Migraine diary. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary. Some of us have food triggers; some of us don't. It's advisable to determine if your daughter does, and an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.
Your doctor can help you manage your Migraines with various medications and dietary supplements:
- Given how frequently you have Migraines, talk with your doctor about preventive treatment. There are many medications and dietary supplements that can be taken daily to reduce both the frequency and severity of your Migraines.
- Your doctor can also prescribe medications for you to take when you get a Migraine. There are Migraine abortive medications that actually work in the brain to stop the Migraine instead of just masking the pain like pain medications do. The most widely used of the abortive medications are the triptans -- Imitrex, Maxalt, Zomig, Amerge, Relpax, Axert, and Frova.
This may all sound like a lot to you, but it's not as bad as it sounds. By working with your doctor for good Migraine disease management, you can reduce the number of Migraines you have AND the interruptions to your life.
John Claude Krusz and Teri Robert
To review other questions from our Ask the Clinician Column,
browse the Ask the Clinician archives.