Coronavirus is giving us all a major headache.
For some, due to lack of sleep and an increase in stress, it may cause more frequent migraines.
Migraines are different from regular headaches because they include: extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting and throbbing pain particularly on one side of the head. They usually last between four hours and three days.
Magnolia mom Lauren Gillespie said she suffers from severe migraines and everything that comes with the coronavirus crisis isn’t helping.
“I think it’s definitely the stress of coronavirus,” Gillespie admitted.
According to Alicia Torborg, executive director for the Association of Migraine Disorders, Lauren is one of 40 million Americans who suffer from migraines and she thinks with Coronavirus, many may be suffering without a diagnosis.
Some of the most common triggers for these severe, nauseating headaches include:
Are people who experience migraine more at risk of COVID-19?
Currently, there is no formal research looking at the relationship between migraine and COVID-19 specifically. However, people who experience migraine but are otherwise in good health are likely not at an elevated risk for SARS-CoV-2 infection or complications from COVID-19.
Some groups are more at risk for severe complications from diseases such as COVID-19, though. At-risk individuals include those who:
– are over the age of 65 years
– have underlying heart conditions
– have chronic kidney or liver disease
– have diabetes
– have severe obesity
– have a weakened immune system, including people receiving certain treatments, such as chemotherapy, steroid drugs, or other immune-suppressing drugs
“Stress is definitely a factor for many people. The stress of how this is impacting them and their family and their loved ones is certainly a stressor. Also the availability of being able to get out and see a doctor,” Torborg said.
Gillespie said she wants to limit trips outside of her home but she also hesitates to use Teladoc.
“I also have an issue with my thyroid so I have to get my blood taken for that. So it’s kind of like, I know I’m going have to go to the doctor anyway within a month or two to get that so that’s why I don’t do the Teladoc thing because I know I’m going to have to go in anyway,” she explained.
Torgborg recommended other ways to treat migraines too, which include:
– Dietary changes
– Stress management
– Lying in a dark room.
“Keep trying different remedies to find out what works best for you,” Torborg said. “My point is if you’re not happy with the care given, if someone just says ‘That’s it,’ look for another doctor.”
Torborg recommended a headache specialist.
Some of the local clinics for headache specialists are still open with limited hours but most experts agree patients should use telehealth options during the pandemic.
In Houston, you can find specialists at most of the major hospitals and clinics like the Houston Headache Institute and the Migraine Relief Center.
Also, The Cove is a telehealth company specifically for migraines.
COVID-19 is a respiratory viral infection that causes symptoms such as fatigue, fever, and a dry cough. In some cases, a person may also experience a headache.
Headaches can vary in severity, and some people with the infection may experience migraine headaches. Otherwise healthy people below the age of 65 years who experience migraine are unlikely to develop complications, as they are not part of an at-risk group.