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Migraines are far more than just headaches

For those people in Elizabeth who don't have migraines, it may be easy to just write them off as bad headaches, but they are so much more than that. Migraines affect people in many different ways. Some people's vision is compromised, others experience extreme pain, still others are nauseous and vomiting, and some must retreat to dark and quiet rooms. Moreover, there are some people who have a migraine once every couple of months and some who have them several times a week. For those whose migraines are severe and frequent, they may not be able to work, using Social Security disability insurance benefits to cover their living costs.

Even though some employers may be reluctant to believe that someone with a migraine is unable to work, people who live with severe migraines can file for disability benefits.

There are two main stages to any migraine. In the first stage, the trigeminal nerve is triggered. As the nerve becomes excited, the blood vessels in an individual's brain start to expand, causing pain. This also inflames and irritates the tissue surrounding the blood vessels, which increases the pain. If left untreated, the migraine then moves into the second major stage.

During the second stage, the central nervous system activates. What makes this stage particularly significant is that when the central nervous system activates, it makes it much more difficult to treat the migraine with medicine.

If taken with enough time, triptans can restrict the blood vessels, reducing pain. Moreover, the medicine can apply serotonin to block pain sensors in the brain.

Migraines are more than just headaches, and for certain people, migraines make it impossible to work. For some, they are the reason why they have applied for federal disability benefits.

Source: WKBT La Crosse, "What is a migraine?" Deborah Wirtel, Feb. 26, 2014

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