Migraine

Migraine Specialist
If you’ve ever suffered from migraine headaches, you know how debilitating they can be. At Willow Park Medical Group in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Dr. Mary Anne Pajel-Sio specializes in treating migraines, preventing them from becoming a significant quality of life issue. If you suffer from migraines, call to find out how you can both treat and avoid them in the future. Or, use the online booking tool to make an appointment.

Migraine Q&A

by Mary Anne Pajel-Sio, MD

What is a migraine?

A migraine is a headache that produces severe throbbing or pounding, usually on one side of your head. Migraines last anywhere from a few hours to several days, and can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and sound.

What happens during a migraine?

A migraine sometimes involves much more than a headache. When that happens, four phases may occur:

Prodrome

This is the period leading up to a migraine, when symptoms may start to develop, such as:

  • Constipation
  • Changes in mood
  • Thirst
  • Increased yawning
  • Stiff neck


Aura

Auras are disturbances in your vision, which occur when a migraine affects the visual region of your brain. This aspect of a migraine is by no means universal; most people have migraines without auras.

Attack

This phase of a migraine describes the period where a headache is present. This stage is typically marked by:

  • Throbbing pain on one side of your head
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and sound


Post-drome

After a migraine attack, you may experience something similar to a hangover. It includes:

  • Confusion
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Light and sound sensitivity
  • Irritability

What causes migraines?

Migraines have no known cause, but research suggests that genetics and environment may contribute to their development.

Every person is unique, especially when it comes to the frequency and severity of migraines, but there are commonalities when it comes to triggers, which include:

  • Hormonal changes
  • Alcohol
  • Foods or food additives
  • Stress
  • Medications


While these are the most common triggers among migraine sufferers, the list is by no means comprehensive. Everything from specific stimuli to changes in the environment can trigger migraines.

How are migraines treated?

To treat your migraines, Dr. Pajel-Sio uses several tools and techniques to both prevent their occurrence and minimize their effects. These include:

  • Trigger avoidance
  • Medications, both preventive and pain-relieving
  • Lifestyle modifications, such as less alcohol
  • Nutrition counseling

Using a multi-pronged approach, Dr. Pajel-Sio successfully helps her patients avoid and manage debilitating migraine headaches. To find out how she can help you, call or book an appointment online.

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