Migraines Specialist

Comprehensive Ophthalmology located in Libertyville, IL

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Migraine headaches affect about 2 in 10 people, causing severe pain, nausea, and sometimes visual disturbances like seeing flashing lights. If migraines disrupt your life, North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians can help. At their offices in Libertyville, Illinois, the board-certified eye doctors offer effective treatments for migraines. They can also make sure there’s nothing wrong with your eyes or optic nerves. Call North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians today or book an appointment online for relief from migraines.

Migraines Q & A

What are migraines?

Migraine is a common condition that usually involves a throbbing headache. The pain might be on one side of your head and is likely to get worse when you move.

Many people get classic migraines, where they see shimmering or colored lights, zigzag lines, or flashes of light to one side of their vision. This is called an aura. A migraine variant is one where you experience visual symptoms without the headache.

Migraines often cause other problems, like sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, nausea and vomiting, and extreme tiredness.

What causes migraines?

It’s not clear why people get migraines. But it might relate to changes in your brain chemicals. These changes happen in women more often than men and frequently run in families.

Many people find that certain things set off their migraines. These triggers can include:

Some foods

The most common food triggers are red wine, aged cheeses, and chocolate. Additives like MSG (monosodium glutamate), nitrates and nitrites (used to cure processed meats), and artificial sweeteners can also trigger migraines.

Poor sleep

Sleep problems like insomnia (inability to sleep), sleeping too much, and irregular sleep patterns can all trigger migraines.

Hormonal changes

Hormone changes most often affect women. They can be caused by hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), menstruation, pregnancy, and menopause (the end of fertility in midlife).

Other common migraine triggers include:

  • Not drinking enough water
  • Stress or anxiety
  • Emotional problems
  • Perfumes
  • Bright lights
  • Temperature changes

Finding out what triggers your migraines means you can avoid them and reduce the number of migraine attacks you experience.

If you’re not sure what’s sets off your migraines, start keeping a record of everything you do each day. After a few migraine attacks, you should be able to identify common themes. For instance, you might have had a hot dog or drunk some wine each time in the hours leading up to your migraine.

How are migraines treated?

Medications play an important part in treating migraines. You might find that over-the-counter medicines like aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen relieve your symptoms. Caffeine helps some people — but it can trigger migraines in others.

If these treatments aren’t effective, your North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians doctor can prescribe medicines that help balance the chemical changes in your brain. Some reduce the severity of your migraine, and some help prevent them.

If your migraine attacks are frequent or severe, you might need to take drugs like beta-blockers or anti-seizure medicines. It’s also necessary to develop healthy habits like regular exercise, drinking enough water, eating a nutritious diet, and tackling chronic stress.

If you’re having problems coping with migraines, talk to the North Shore Glaucoma Center & Eye Physicians team. Call their office today or book an appointment online.