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Migraines Anyone??

post #1 of 20
Thread Starter 
So around 2 weeks ago, I get a whiff of this woman's horrid body odor combined with some sort of cleaning product(i work at a homeless shelter). It literally felt that this smell went up my left nostril and camped out behind my eye. I proceeded to have this headache behind my eye which then went across my entire head and I wanted to puke. I took a nap and it went away, but I still felt the effects of it a couple days after, including my vision being a little blurry in my left eye. Ever since that headache it seems that I am very sensitive to smells and a couple of days ago my left eye became a little more blurry and it seemed to be triggered by another chemical smell.

Things have gotten better the last few days with my eye, but today I wake up with this tension headache in the back of my head and my jaw is really tight like I have been clenching my teeth at night. I also started to see some floaters in both eyes (first time that has happened).

I have never had a migraine before that I can remember. The homeless shelter nurse (15yrs of experience) is pretty certain it is the poor air quality in the place (very little air exchange) combined with some chemical smells that don't go away easily because of the lack of air flow. The manager (25 yrs experience) thinks it is the same thing. My sister who will be a doctor this year, thinks it may be migraine related. I will be seeing an optometrist tomorrow.

I've done quite a bit of searching on migraines and the like, but I was wondering if any gentlemen here who get migraines can put in their two cents worth...
post #2 of 20
Sounds like a migrane to me. I used to have them just about once a month, as if on a schedule. Air quality and smells, along with bright lights, seemed to contribute. I'd start with fuzziness and an aura in my vision, proceed to a headache which, just as you describe, moved across my head, proceed to puking, naping, and then feeling better for a while... Things I've found that help (frequency is now down to one every 3-4 months, if that): Cammomile tea. Can't recommend this highly enough. I read an article that said it regulates swelling of blood vessels that contribute to migranes. Tom's natural deodorant - or any deodorant without aluminum in it. Being careful to breathe deeply. I know this, especially that last one, may sound a bit corny, but I just want to share what helped me. Migranes aren't fun.
post #3 of 20
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the response. What about the slightly blurry vision after a migraine? Have you experienced that any?
post #4 of 20
Yeah, I've had blurry vision.

Are you congested? My migraines are usually linked to that. An antihistamine often helps.

Excedrin Migraine and its knockoffs are the only thing I've found that offers any relief.
post #5 of 20
Thread Starter 
I have had sinus problems pretty much all my life. I have a nasal irrigator (motorized kind) that I use often. Do you use an antihistamine or a decongestant?
post #6 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by michaeljkrell View Post
Thanks for the response. What about the slightly blurry vision after a migraine? Have you experienced that any?

I haven't noticed any afterward, actually, my vision seems almost too clear - but everything I've read says that everyone's migraines tend to differ.
post #7 of 20
sometimes i get migraines with crazy lines and stuff in my vision and my head hurts too much to even stand up. I just take some advil and benadryl and sleep it off.
post #8 of 20
Just had a couple lectures on headaches actually, specifically focused on migraines. Weird coincidence. I'm not sure how detailed you want to go on this... Like incastoutcast mentioned, the vision thing is type of symptom of migraine called aura - visual aura fairly common with migraines. Here's the definition of migraine with aura we were given: At least 2 attacks with at least 3 of the following Fully reversible visual, sensory, or speech symptoms At least 1 aura symptom that develops gradually over more than or equal to 5 minutes and/or different aura symptoms occuring in succession over more than or equal to 5 minutes Each aura symptom lasts more than or equal to 5 minutes and no more then 60 minutes Headache fulfills criteria for migraine without aura Headache begins during aura or follows aura within 60 minutes Not attributed to another disorder Various medications you can try if it keeps occurring (not everything is over the counter, obviously): Simple Analgesics NSAIDS Combination analgesics Opioids Corticosteroids Antiemetics/dopamine antagonists Ergotamine/Dihydroergotamine Triptans I can go into more specifics if you really want...
post #9 of 20
I've had migranes off and on most of my life and I get normal headaches fairly frequently.

For me, lack of sleep and stress, prolonged over a long period of time, are the biggest triggers. Certainly, exercise and diet are wrapped up in that equation.

Chemical triggers are often mentioned, so the environment at the shelter might not be a good one for you. If you haven't been eating well, that might be a factor as well. A couple of dietary culprits that I've read about are MSG and aspartame.

Once I get a migrane, the only thing that really works for me is sleeping it off.
post #10 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gunboat View Post
Once I get a migrane, the only thing that really works for me is sleeping it off.

Same here, I usually take some paracetamol and sleep for a couple of hours if possible. The aura and headache usually subside enough afterward for me to function somewhat normally, but it can take up to three days for the headache to disappear completely. I don't have them nearly as often as when I was younger, probably only about once a year nowadays. The trigger for me seem to be really bright lights.
post #11 of 20
This sounds terrible. I feel eternally grateful that I never get headaches.

Do you guys think any of this could be brought on by substance abuse, e.g. caffeine?
post #12 of 20
I've gotten migraines for many years.

First of all: to those of you who are sleeping it off or whatever, I can't urge you enough to go to a neurologist. Modern medicine, especially triptans, can make a huge difference in your life. My own life is basically has a line running through it - pre and post-triptans. I take Maxalt, aka Rizatriptan, but used to take Imitrex, aka sumatriptan. Besides getting medicine that works, you also should get checked for physical problems that might be causing the headaches, like a brain tumor.

Also: migraines are chronic by definition, so if your headaches aren't chronic, they're not migraine.
post #13 of 20
I don't think the smell would give you migraine, it could only trigger one. Did you ever get migraines before? If not, it probably isn't migraine. Also, in my case, the blurry vision come before the headache not after. As a matter of fact, I have unusually sharp vision after one.
post #14 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by cross22 View Post

Also, in my case, the blurry vision come before the headache not after.

Same order for me. When the fuzzies start I have this almost pavlovian reaction of total fear, which I guess developed back before I knew how to treat these monsters.

These days Imitrex + some kind of oxycodeine pretty much wards migraines off if I catch them in time.
post #15 of 20
Quote:
Originally Posted by MetroStyles View Post
This sounds terrible. I feel eternally grateful that I never get headaches.

Do you guys think any of this could be brought on by substance abuse, e.g. caffeine?

Well, I pretty much never drink coffee or soda, though I do have green tea fairly regularly (often decaffeinated, though - I probably only have two or three caffeinated cups a week) I had the migraines before I had alcohol, I don't drink in excess at all (been buzzed once), never done "drugs", never had a cigarette, had a couple cigars (again, after the migraines started, and rarely).

So... not for me...

Unless near-LA air counts as substance abuse, which I suppose it could...
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