Migraines can affect anyone. But seniors who have struggled with migraines in the past may find that migraines occur less frequently as they get older. Some seniors may have a new onset of migraines as they get older due to traumatic brain injury. Conditions like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s can also cause seniors to start getting migraines for the first time. Seniors that suffer from migraines may need home care assistance services.
What Are Migraines?
Migraines are a special type of headache. They can be excruciatingly painful and cause symptoms like nausea, sensitivity to light and sound, auras, and visual abnormalities. Migraines are caused by abnormal brain activity, which is why they tend to affect seniors with conditions like Alzheimer’s. There are medications that can help control migraines. But seniors also need to learn what their migraine triggers are so they can avoid them.
Migraines can be triggered by a variety of factors. Identifying the triggers of migraines can help seniors avoid getting migraines. The most common migraine triggers are stress, changes in weather patterns, lack of sleep, hormonal fluctuations, certain foods (e.g., aged cheeses, processed meats), caffeine, and even certain medications.
Impact on Quality of Life
Migraines can completely disrupt the life of someone who gets them. When seniors have a migraine they are often unable to get out of bed. And for days after the migraine, they are unable to exercise, eat healthy meals, socialize with family and friends, or participate in hobbies. With home care assistance seniors will have help with tasks like making meals and cleaning up.
There are several treatment options that might help seniors with migraines. Some over-the-counter medications can help dull the pain of a migraine. But when seniors are prone to migraines with intense pain they may need prescription medication or injections to stop the pain. If your senior parent is having migraines make sure that they see their doctor to talk about treatment options.
Changes in the way that seniors live can make a big difference in how many migraines they get. And how severe those migraines become. Seniors should eat a healthy diet and avoid things like processed wheat and sugar. Staying hydrated and limiting things like smoking or alcohol consumption can help. Food, heat, and other triggers are very personal. Your senior parent will have to work on figuring out what their unique triggers are in order to stop the migraines.
Monitoring and Documentation
Seniors that are getting migraines frequently should start tracking their migraines. Write down the date and time the migraine starts. Also, seniors should note the intensity of the pain, the duration of the migraine, and any potential triggers that may have triggered it. Over time patterns may emerge in these records that can help seniors avoid migraines altogether.
It’s important for seniors that are getting migraines to continue to see their doctors for monitoring. Migraines can indicate brain damage or diseases that have not previously been diagnosed.