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Can Chronic Migraines Cause Long-term Damage?

June 13, 2013
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Do you suffer from chronic headaches? Do you seek migraine relief, but worry about the long-term effects medications may have on your body? Does it frighten you to think about what will happen if your migraines continue, untreated?

If yes, know that you are not alone. Many people in your position wonder if migraine headaches are causing long-term damages to their bodies.

Do Chronic Migraines Cause Long term Damage Can Chronic Migraines Cause Long term Damage?

There are many theories migraine sufferers explore when seeking an answer to this nagging question. Before uncovering the two ways migraines can cause damage to the human body, let’s first review a myth about migraines.

A Myth about Migraines

A number of people worry that chronic migraines lead to memory loss and related conditions like Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Another debate about migraines is whether or not these chronic headaches lead to long-term, permanent vision problems. (This is especially heavy on the minds of those who experience trouble seeing during migraines.)

To debunk these concerns, Disability Living points to a New York Times blog article that quotes Dr. David Dodick, of the Mayo Clinic, as stating migraines do not directly lead to any of the issues mentioned above.  Nevertheless, these types of medical diagnoses are on the rise. As of now, however, medical professionals and researchers are consistent in saying there is no link between memory loss, or long-term vision troubles, and migraines.

The Risk of Stroke in Migraine Sufferers

Research dedicated to helping migraine sufferers reports that a person who suffers from chronic migraines with auras (or phase 2 of the migraine, which is not experienced by all migraine sufferers) may have a slightly higher chance of having a stroke. This seems to be because these individuals are more susceptible to blockages in blood vessels, which is a common cause of strokes.

For this reason, among many, it is important for people with intense headache pain to speak with their physicians about the severity and frequency of migraines. Medical professionals can offer advice about how to be proactive with individual treatment plans that protect against permanent effects.

Emotional Side Effects of Migraines

To conclude, it is important to mention that untreated migraines may lead to long-term damages because of emotional challenges that are attributed to significant pain, discomfort, and social exclusion. In other words, it is not uncommon for people who silently suffer from migraines to also report unemployment, depression, and poor quality of life.

While migraines can seem incurable, it is important to always be on the lookout for remedies. Living a full life is possible, in spite of pain from chronic headaches.

 

Let’s Talk About It

Are you concerned about the long-term impact migraines may have on your body? What does your advising physician tell you when you bring this concern to his or her attention?

 

Image made available by tommyscapes on Flickr through Creative Common Licenses.

Resources:  http://consults.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/07/27/can-migraines-damage-the-brain/

http://womenworld.org/health/long-term-outlook—long-term-effects-of-migraine—long-term-effects-of-medication.aspx

Read more Disability Living blog posts for Migraine Sufferers:

Natural Remedies for Chronic Migraines
Can Children Get Migraines?
Migraine Symptoms and Phases
Are Migraines Affecting Your Career?
How to Talk About Migraine Symptoms

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