Up to 12% of the population suffers from migraines, which are blinding headaches that include neurological symptoms such as nausea and light sensitivity. At Family Medical Center in Lakewood and Federal Way, Washington, Vuthy Leng, MD, offers innovative migraine treatments to help you find relief from recurrent episodes. Call the office to find out more about migraine treatment or book an appointment online today.

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What is a migraine?

Migraines are often categorized as a type of headache, but they’re actually a neurological disease. When having a migraine, you may experience severe headache pain on one side of your head. You may also experience other symptoms, such as:

  • Auras in your vision
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • Seeing flashes of light, blind spots, or zig-zag lines

You may experience just one or two migraines per month, or be among the 4 million Americans who suffer from chronic migraines — defined as 15 or more episodes per month. Migraines can be debilitating and disabling, causing lost time from work, school, and life.

What causes migraines?

Exactly why some people develop migraines isn’t clearly understood by researchers. Migraines may have a genetic component, and women are far more likely to suffer from migraines.

Certain dietary triggers can set off a migraine episode. These include MSG, aged cheeses, alcohol, chocolate, aspartame, and citrus. Some people are sensitive to environmental triggers such as bright lights or flickering images. Missed sleep, low blood sugar, and dehydration can also cause a migraine episode.

Dr. Leng can help you identify your possible triggers so you can make changes to reduce the number of migraine episodes you suffer.

When should I see a doctor for a migraine?

The best time to contact Family Medical Clinic is when you’re experiencing the migraine. The staff can schedule a same-day appointment and determine if you’re a good candidate for a SphenoCath (sphenopalatine ganglion block) procedure.

This painless and quick procedure applies pain medication and anesthetic using a small, flexible catheter directly to a nerve bundle (the sphenopalatine ganglion) at the back of the throat. Many patients get immediate, lasting relief as a result. The procedure is performed right in the office, and you can go home after the treatment.

Certain prescription medications can help you find relief from migraines. These include antidepressants and antihypertensive medications administered orally, nasally, or via injection. For some people, lifestyle changes also ease the number and intensity of migraine episodes.

If you suffer from migraines that interfere with work and daily life, contact Family Medical Clinic for treatment. Call the office or book an appointment online to learn about lifestyle and medical solutions.