June 2019: Migraine Awareness Month
** During the month of June we are highlighting the 37+ million American Migraineurs and their families. Three out of the six people who work in this office, myself included, suffer from these severe headaches. Trust us; a migraine is more than just a headache!
“Sometimes, a migraine will come on so quickly that I don’t even have enough time to get to my medication. I lose my eyesight almost completely, I cannot walk due to the extreme dizziness, and the nauseousness has often resulted in a very messy clean up by a loved one. Surprisingly, the combination of celery juice (yes, I joined the craze!) and Syntonic Light Therapy, prescribed here in the office, have relieved me of any recent attacks!” ~ Meredith, Vision Therapist
Hello Patients, Colleagues, and Friends.
The sun and it’s warmth have finally made their presence, and it’s ABOUT TIME! We understand what a busy time this is as the school year wraps up, field trips are in full swing, and sports banquets fill the weekly schedule, so thank you in advance for taking the time to read this.
The June calendar is chock full of health awareness dates and information. We could have focused on Cataract Awareness,
National Cancer Survivors Day (June 3), Men’s Health Week (June 11-17), or Nystagmus Day (June 20th) to name a few. We decided to focus our attention on Migraine Awareness, and for those of you who suffer from these headaches, you understand how debilitating they can be. Did you know that Migraine is the 12^th most disabling disorder in the United States?! Every day approximately 430,000 people are unable to work due to migraines, accounting for 157 million workdays lost annually. Nine out of ten sufferers, myself included, report that they cannot function “normally” during a migraine attack and most require bed rest.
Tension headaches tend to be more chronic and steady. They’ll often reside in the forehead region, the temples or the back of the neck. The pain associated with migraines is of a throbbing quality. Folks often report light sensitivity or seeing auras. Physical exertion of any kind, even walking up a flight of stairs, can worsen the pain.
Common migraine triggers are emotional anxiety or stress, family history, changes in sleep patterns, contraceptives, alcohol, dramatic shifts in weather or altitude, hormonal changes, and menopause, to name a few.
There are dozens of prescription and over-the-counter medications to help treat migraines. Practicing “good self-care” is recommended, and even newer therapies like Transcutaneous Supraorbital Nerve Stimulation (t-SNS) is suggested.
One piece of information that I learned while researching and writing this month’s newsletter is that some migraine sufferers may experience symptoms a day or two before the actual migraine occurs. Known as the “prodrome” phase, these subtler signs can include constipation, depression, frequent yawning, irritability, neck stiffness, and unusual food cravings.
We’ve treated many patients, usually concussion related, who suffer from migraines. Between visually building stamina through eye exercises and accommodation work, perceptual activities to increase spatial awareness and eye hand coordination, plus Syntonic Light Therapy, we’re proud to say that we’ve seen positive results.
Happy Summer Solstice!
Drs. Christine & Thomas Semenza and The Vision Therapy Team
To learn more about vision therapy and how people of all ages are improving their academics, work, and sports performance, call us at 860-434-2509.