What to do When You're Having a Migraine

Updated at: Jun 19, 2018
What to do When You're Having a Migraine

A migraine attack can give you unrelenting pain and its symptoms can be so severe that you may find it difficult to cope with it. Here is all that you can do when you have an excruciating migraine attack.

Himanshu Sharma
MigraineWritten by: Himanshu SharmaPublished at: Jun 19, 2018

Millions of people suffer from migraines. A migraine attack can give you unrelenting pain and its symptoms can be so severe that you may find it difficult to cope with it.

There are no specific cures for migraine headaches, although there are many things that you can do to alleviate migraine symptoms. The treatment approaches for chronic headaches begin with finding the cause. If not addressed, migraine attacks can last for hours or days.

Listed below is all that you can do when you have an excruciating migraine attack.


Whenever you experience a throbbing pain in your head, you must stop the activity that you are engaged in. Not doing so may aggravate your headache. Even if you bend or walk, your pain may worsen. As soon as you feel any migraine symptoms such as headache accompanied by nausea and vomiting, rest in a quiet and dark place. Moreover, lie in an inclined position rather than a flat one to minimise the severity of your migraine;this also prevents you from feeling dizzy.

Also Read: What is the Diagnosis of Migraine

Apply a Cold Compress 

Apply a cold compress on the side you have a headache. Wrap up a bag of ice cubes with a towel and place it over the painful area. You must avoid direct contact of ice onto the scalp as it might cause ice burn. Start treatment as soon as possible to get  relief.

Give yourself a Massage

Massaging your head will give you relief. Use the pads of your thumb, index and middle finger to do a circular massage to help relieve the pressure from it.

Drink Water

Dehydration and lack of appetite are one of the common triggers of migraines. During a migraine attack, it is advisable to drink plenty of water and eat something. Dehydration can make a migraine attack last longer and the symptoms may become more intense.

Also Read: Don't wait until you're thirsty to drink water

Serve yourself a Cup of Coffee

Drinking a cup of coffee or a caffeinated beverage can help alleviate migraine symptoms. Caffeine helps constrict dilated blood vessels that occur in migraines.

Avoid Triggers

There are certain foods, smells, noises and even light patterns that can make migraine attack worse. You must avoid these triggers to deal with an attack.

Seek Medical Help

If you experience migraine attack often, ask your doctor about medications that may help in reducing the frequency and duration of an attack. Prescription of some calcium channel blockers, beta-blockers, blood pressure medicines, seizure medicines and magnesium or vitamin B2 supplements can help cope with migraines.

Everyone responds differently to treatment approaches. Some have migraine attacks rarely that need no treatment while others may need to take several medications. A key to migraine treatment is learning how to manage your migraines. Those marred by migraines must keep a headache diary to identify their migraine triggers. Besides learning to avoid triggers, you must maintain a responsive dialogue with your health care provider for migraine management. Moreover, be more active to keep a healthy overall blood flow and improve your way of living.

Read more articles on Migraine.

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