Chronic migraines are a debilitating condition that affect a large population of people. They are headaches that come with other symptoms such as pain, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and/or sound and visual changes. Living with chronic migraines means that you are having at least 15 or more headaches per month that last four hours or more, and of those 15 headaches, 8 headaches are considered migraines with the associated symptoms. When these headaches, with other symptoms occur, it is important to be evaluated by your doctor to rule out another pathological cause for the headaches. Imaging and labs may be performed to further evaluate these headaches. Typically, people start out with a low number of headaches and migraines each month and this increases over there years, which is when the chronic migraine diagnosis is given.
There are both acute and preventive treatments that are used for chronic migraines.
The acute treatment is taken to help decrease the pain associated from the headache or migraine once it has already started. These treatments can be taken from over the counter or prescribed by a physician.
Botox is an FDA approved preventive treatment for migraines when someone is having 15 or more headaches, with at least 8 migraines, per month. Botox is covered with insurance and patients should notice a different within approximately 1 month after starting treatment. The Botox ingredients work to block the pain nerves on the face that trigger the signal to the brain that brings on the migraine. Optimal results would be that patients have an average of 2 or fewer headaches per month. This treatment should be repeated every 3 months in order to continue to receive optimal effects. Patient have found that staying on schedule with these treatments has significantly lessened the number of migraines, thus improving overall quality of life. Talk to your doctor if you suffer from chronic migraines and believe this would be a good option for you.