After spending nearly 7 months locked in our homes, the Covid-19 pandemic has caused many upheavals in our life. United by screens, and estranged by masks, the new normal of ‘work from home’ and ‘social distancing’ has had a tremendous impact on every aspect of life.  In unprecedented situations like this, there is an increase in stress,  anxiety, and restlessness amongst the people.

The isolation has taken a severe toll on our mental health and also on patients with chronic migraines and headaches. At times one may confuse COVID headache with other types of headaches. However, COVID headaches are moderate in nature and one experiences bilateral pain. They increase when you bend down, cause a pulsing sensation, and may occur with a fever.  Migraines, on the other hand, are a type of headache which are marked by pulsating and throbbing pain and may be associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, visual manifestations.

These are severe and a person may develop sensitivity to light and sound. 

 

  • Know your triggers 

“Prevention is better than cure” Maintaining a record of what triggers you is a great way of preventing them. You can do this by writing down your experiences throughout the day. By doing so you will be able to monitor, when does the migraine occur, what triggers it, how many times a day it occurs, etc. 

Some of the common migraine triggers are stress, changes in weather and environment, hormonal changes etc. Migraines are also caused by changing sleep patterns or sleep deprivation, physical factors like exertion. Processed foods, aged cheese, food additives such as sweetener aspartame, preservatives like monosodium glutamate found in many foods also set off migraines. Migraine patients also complain of headaches which can get worse with strong odors, sleep, bright lights, hunger, smoking or loud noises. If you observe any of the above mentioned symptoms, it’s better that you consult a doctor for migraine.

 

  • Try treating Migraines at home

Since going out frequently for a doctor’s appointment isn’t an option, the best thing you can do is try treating migraines at home. Most migraine headaches can be treated with lifestyle changes without medications.

Start with breathing exercises, these will calm you down. Alongside breathing, you can also try yoga and acupressure to relax yourself. Self-care is a must for curing migraine. The next step is to dim the lights in your room and turn on soft music. Pamper yourself with foodstuffs and activities that you love. Start taking care of your mental and physical health.

Eat foods such as almonds, cashews, sesame seeds, peanut butter, eggs, milk, etc which contain magnesium. Magnesium helps to reduce migraines. Ginger is another effective solution to treat your migraine. You can make ginger tea at home. 

Apart from this, some basic things such as drinking water, getting adequate sleep, exercising regularly, and limiting the intake of alcohol and other intoxicants. 

If the home remedies do not work out, or in some cases where the patient is resistant to medications, nerves which carry pain sensation can be blocked. However, you need to consult your migraine doctor for the same.

 

  • Get sleep and eat healthy

Sleep deprivation is one of the major causes of migraines. The changes in our lifestyle due to the current pandemic, has affected our sleeping patterns. Irregular sleeping hours, long hours spent procrastinating with electronic gadgets, etc. keeps us awake and disturbs the biological sleep clock. 

Hence for people suffering from migraines, sleep is paramount. Sleep early and try meditating before going to bed. Don’t use your phones or other gadgets before going to bed. It will just keep you up and you’ll end up procrastinating. Drink warm milk and find a quiet and comfortable place to repose. Get out all your comfortable blankets and pillows, put on some soft music that puts you to sleep. Use essential oils to apply on your forehead.

This will instantly put you to sleep. You can also use scented candles, however, check whether they have strong perfume or not. Strong scents can also set off migraines. Limit drinking coffee or other caffeinated drinks and medicines. 

 

  • Manage stress levels 

The onset of the pandemic has been stressful for a lot of people. Coping with the fear and anxiety of the disease along with isolation from the world can be very overwhelming. This is another concern for people with migraines because situations such as these can aggravate stress. Hence one needs to manage the stress levels and prevent things that stress you. 

Exercising is a great stress buster that will shift your attention and keep you healthy. Yoga and deep breathing are excellent ways that will give you immediate relief and lower your stress levels. Engaging yourself in maximum things that you love doing is a great way to overcome stress in life. Working from home can be stressful too. Hence, try not to overburden yourself with work and take intervals for relaxation.

 

  • Book a telemedicine appointment  

Telemedicine is an exchange of medical information and health services through the use of technology. Booking a telemedicine appointment is the best thing you can do to get a professional’s advice without actually having to step out of the house. This reduces the spread of infection and the risk of getting infected. There are many doctors for migraine whom you can consult through telemedicine. They will be able to diagnose you at your home and check your previous medical history. They can also prescribe you medicines and advise you on how to carry on with the treatment.  

Telemedicine is a quick and effective method for migraine patients to seek medical help without exposing themselves to the virus.

Managing migraines amid  a pandemic is a challenging task. However, don’t let this burden you. Try keeping calm and be positive. Know what are your triggers and try limiting your exposure to them. You can always seek medical help from doctors online through telemedicine. Exercise and make healthy lifestyle choices. Most importantly, keep in touch with your close ones, as they shall always support you.