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Botox can treat severe, chronic migraines

ST. LOUIS_ It’s Headache Awareness Month and over 37 million suffer from migraines. The most recent studies show nearly 13 percent of sufferers are adults.

But there is help on the horizon and it’s Botox.

Dr. Sid Kaul, neurologist from SSM Health DePaul Hosptial, explains.

Botox is one of the newer treatments for severe, chronic migraines. It works by relaxing the muscles of the scalp that contribute to migraines. Almost 5 million in the U.S. experience at least one migraine attack per month, while more than 11 million people blame migraines for causing moderate to severe disability.

Migraine triggers vary by the individual but common triggers include caffeine, alcohol, aged cheeses, bright light/glare, weather, hormones and lack of sleep.

More information: 

• 91 percent miss work or can`t function normally during migraine attack
• 31 percent missed at least one day of work or school in past three months
• 53 percent have severe disability requiring reducing activities or bed rest

Because migraines strike during the most productive working years for sufferers, the pain takes a financial toll. Migraine sufferers use twice the amount of prescription drugs and visit doctors and emergency rooms twice as often as those who don`t have the disorder.

One study estimates the loss of productivity in the U.S. to be between $5.6 billion to $17.2 billion per year because of missed work. The average migraine sufferer misses two days of work per year. It is estimated that migraines are the reason for 36 million days of bed rest, plus 21.5 million days of restricted activity.

The most common migraine symptoms reported by migraine sufferers are:

• Throbbing, pulsating pain — 85 percent
• Light sensitivity — 80 percent
• Sound sensitivity — 76 percent
• Nausea — 73 percent
• Pain on one side — 59 percent
• Vision changes, blurred vision — 44 percent
• Aura — 36 percent
• Vomiting — 29 percent}