Q: I’ve had tough headaches and migraines for years. What can help?
A: Many patients struggle for years with migraines and headaches. In these cases, it is very important to dig deep into their history. We carefully analyze other factors that could be contributing to their frequent headaches.
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Typically, we look for things like overusing any over-the-counter analgesics or other pain killers. People with migraines who use such medication more than twice a week are at risk of developing more frequent headaches.
Sleep deprivation or other sleep issues also can contribute to a higher frequency of headaches.
It’s also crucial to screen for underlying psychiatric symptoms, such as depression or anxiety. Treatment of these disorders is very important.
The challenge we have is in identifying the right preventive strategy that suits each patient. It could involve medication, natural remedies or procedures, such as the use of Botox® injections. To do this, it’s important to get a thorough history to explore any issues that could be contributing to the headaches.
— Headache specialist Emad Estemalik, MD