Kent Smalley, M.D.
Addiction Medicine Specialist & Behavioral Neurology located in Edmond, OK
Migraines affect 12% of all Americans, but women have three times the risk compared to men. If you suffer from the excruciating pain of migraines, Kent Smalley, MD, at Neurowellness Clinic in Edmond, Oklahoma and serving the greater Oklahoma City area, can help with today’s most advanced medical treatments to relieve your pain and reduce the frequency of future headaches. To learn more about your treatment options for migraine headaches, call the office or schedule an appointment online.
Migraine Q & A
What causes a migraine?
Migraine headaches are a complex neurological disorder that begins when a trigger leads to hyperactive cranial nerves. There are many possible internal and external triggers, and each person has their own primary triggers. Some of the most common include:
- Bright lights
- Strong odors
- Lack of sleep
- Skipping a meal
- Weather changes
- Some foods and additives
In women, migraines may be triggered by hormonal changes such as fluctuations in estrogen that occur during menstrual periods and pregnancy.
What symptoms develop during a migraine?
Migraines can have four stages, but you won’t necessarily experience all four:
Some patients experience subtle differences, such as mood changes or food cravings, the day or two before their migraine.
One-third of migraine patients experience aura in the 20-60 minutes before the pain begins. Aura most often appears as vision changes like seeing flashing lights or wavy lines. However, aura can take other forms like tingling sensations and difficulty speaking.
This stage is when your migraine pain begins. During a migraine, you experience symptoms such as:
- Severe, throbbing pain around one or both temples
- Nausea and vomiting
- Vertigo (sensation the room is spinning)
- Sensitivity to lights, sounds, and/or smells
Migraine attacks last at least four hours and may continue as long as three days.
Some patients continue to have symptoms for up to 24 hours after their migraine attack ends. For example, you may feel dizzy, confused, or weak.
How do you treat migraines?
As an experienced neurologist, Dr. Smalley offers comprehensive migraine care using the most advanced treatment, as well as complementary therapies that support your ongoing health. The first step is to identify your migraine triggers and creating a plan to avoid them.
Your migraine treatment may include:
Pain-relieving and preventive medications
Some medications are used at the first sign of a migraine to diminish the pain, while you take others on a regular basis to reduce the frequency and severity of future migraines. One of the newest preventive medications, calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), reduces migraine frequency with a monthly injection.
Botox reduces the frequency of future migraines in patients with chronic migraines (which means you have 15 or more headache days a month.)
Dr. Smalley performs a nerve block by injecting a local anesthetic near the nerve that’s sending migraine pain signals to your brain. The medication alleviates your pain by blocking the signals.
After your initial appointment, some follow-up appointments may be done with telemedicine so you can minimize trips to the office.
If you suffer from migraines or severe headaches, call Neurowellness Clinic or schedule an appointment online.