FENTON, Mo. - Migraines are a recurring type of severe headache. More than three million people in the United States suffer migraines every year. Symptoms include throbbing or pulsing, oftentimes on one side of the head. You may also experience nausea and weakness, sensitivity to light and sound. Triggers are often hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, stress, and exercise.
Dr. Michael Snyder, a neurologist at SSM Health Medical Group in Fenton, wants to get the word out about the severity of migraine headaches as often times they are overlooked as a nuisance and not considered a severe deterrent from living a full life. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.
Dr. Snyder says most of his patients who come to him have already tried medications that can prevent migraines or make them less painful. He says the right medicines, combined with lifestyle changes may help some.
But for those who have tried at least two medications who are still suffering, he offers Botox. Botox has proven to be about 80 to 85 percent effective for reducing recurring migraines. He warns that patients typically need to try at least two oral medications before Botox treatment can be pursued.
Botox injections are given in approximately 31 sites around the eyes, head, back of the neck and shoulder. Botox needs to be administered approximately every 12 weeks or three months depending on the results. Botox has been studied and is shown to have no long-term side effects and offer migraine patients hope again for a better quality of life. Botox works for migraines because it blocks chemicals called neurotransmitters that carry pain signals from your brain. Botox is like a roadblock in the pathway to stop the chemicals before they get to the nerve endings around your head and neck.
To learn more about treating headaches and migraines, click here.
The SSM Health Medical Minute airs every Wednesday at 7 PM on KPLR News 11 and at 9 PM on KTVI Fox 2 News.