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Is coronavirus triggering migraines? How to tell if you’re suffering and what to do

MAGNOLIA, Texas – Coronavirus is giving us all a major headache.

For some, due to lack of sleep and an increase in stress, it may cause more frequent migraines.

Migraines are different from regular headaches because they include: extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting and throbbing pain particularly on one side of the head. They usually last between four hours and three days.

Magnolia mom Lauren Gillespie said she suffers from severe migraines and everything that comes with the coronavirus crisis isn’t helping.

“I think it’s definitely the stress of coronavirus,” Gillespie admitted.

According to Alicia Torborg, executive director for the Association of Migraine Disorders, Lauren is one of 40 million Americans who suffer from migraines and she thinks with Coronavirus, many may be suffering without a diagnosis.

Some of the most common triggers for these severe, nauseating headaches include:

  • Lack of sleep
  • Change in routine
  • Worrying
  • Dehydration
  • Hormones
  • Stress

“Stress is definitely a factor for many people. The stress of how this is impacting them and their family and their loved ones is certainly a stressor. Also the availability of being able to get out and see a doctor,” Torborg said.

Gillespie said she wants to limit trips outside of her home but she also hesitates to use Teladoc.

“I also have an issue with my thyroid so I have to get my blood taken for that. So it's kind of like, I know I'm going have to go to the doctor anyway within a month or two to get that so that's why I don't do the Teladoc thing because I know I'm going to have to go in anyway,” she explained.

Torgborg recommended other ways to treat migraines too, which include:

  • Exercise
  • Dietary changes
  • Stress management
  • Lying in a dark room.

“Keep trying different remedies to find out what works best for you,” Torborg said. “My point is if you’re not happy with the care given, if someone just says ‘That’s it,’ look for another doctor.”

Torborg recommended a headache specialist.

Some of the local clinics for headache specialists are still open with limited hours but most experts agree patients should use telehealth options during the pandemic.

In Houston, you can find specialists at most of the major hospitals and clinics like the Houston Headache Institute and the Migraine Relief Center.

Also, The Cove is a telehealth company specifically for migraines.

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