Medical Alerts for Seniors with Migraines

Medical Alerts for Seniors with Migraines

time icon 6 min read update icon Sept. 28, 2019


Migraines can be described as a disabling and persistent head pain, often accompanied by other symptoms. Recent research identified certain genetic components to be the cause of migraines, and they can affect all age populations. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2009, more than 30% of the U.S. population reported bouts of migraines or severe headaches.

Migraine Overview

In the past, it was thought that blood vessel dilation and constriction in the head was the primary source of migraine pain. As a result, treatment was usually focused on the blood vessels. Researchers have now found that genetics and environmental factors can also have an effect on migraines.

Migraines can result from changes in the brainstem or brain chemicals. The onset of these types of headaches can be particularly worrisome. The risk of an underlying disorder in individuals experiencing migraines is ten times higher than in those who do not experience migraines.

Migraine Impairment

It is not uncommon to experience a headache, but contrary to popular belief, a migraine is not simply a headache. A migraine can be extremely incapacitating, and can include severe throbbing pain on one side of the head. However, in more than one third of migraine attacks, both sides of the head are affected. The frequency with which migraines can occur varies from person to person. In some instances, a migraine occurrence may be rare, or migraines may arise several times a month.

Anaura or warning symptoms may occur before a migraine, or with the onset of a migraine. These warning symptoms can include distorted or spotted vision and a tingling sensation on the face, arm or leg. In some cases, a migraine with aura may even be accompanied by limb weakness. On average, a migraine attack can cause a considerable amount of pain that lasts for hours to days.

Migraine pain can be so severe that it is disabling, and it is often accompanied by one or more of the following disabling symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Speaking difficulties
  • Light Sensitivity
  • Sound sensitivity
  • Tingling or numbing sensation
Medical Alert Benefits

Migraines are one of the leading reasons many individuals visit emergency rooms each year. Fortunately, having medical alerts allows an individual to alert loved ones or professionals at the onset of a disabling migraine.Migraine attacks can cause considerable discomfort and pain for hours to days.

Migraine symptoms:

  • Pain in the face or neck
  • Throbbing, acute or severe headache
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound
  • Frequent nausea or vomiting
  • Visual distortions or seeing flashes of light
  • Nasal congestion
  • Scalp tenderness
Safety Without Medical Alerts

Many people who experience migraines may resort to treating the symptoms themselves with over-the-counter medications rather than utilizing medical alerts. These treatments may suffice in some instances; however migraine suffers should take into consideration the following:

  • Throbbing, acute or severe headache: If headaches occur more than three times a month, treatment is recommended. A senior may want to consider stress reduction and elimination of certain foods from their diet.Additionally, regular exercise can also reduce the occurrences and severity of migraines.
  • Dizziness: Approximately 40% of migraine patients experience a disruption in their balance, and/or dizziness. Hormonal fluctuations, foods and weather changes often exacerbate both conditions. A balanced diet, coupled with certain medications used in migraine management, may prevent the dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting: Fortunately, there are several different treatment options for coping with migraine-related nausea and vomiting. Options include taking deep slow breaths, getting fresh air, eating small amounts of bland foods and staying hydrated.
  • Sensitivity to light: To alleviate some of the pain associated with migraines, migraine suffers can limit their exposure to light sources, including fluorescent lighting, televisions and low-resolution computer screens.
  • Nasal congestion: Migraines are sometimes triggered by changes in the climate and are helped by decongestants. This may lead migraine sufferers to believe that they are battling a sinus headache. Fortunately, some decongestant medications have ingredients which may help with migraines.
Migraine Precautions:
  1. Eat a balanced diet: A balanced diet can help keep migraines under control. At the onset of a migraine, the sufferer should write down the foods and drinks that were consumed before it started. If there is a pattern over time, those foods should be avoided.
  2. Exercise: Regular physical activity is a key part of being healthy. Exercise can help decrease the rate and intensity of migraines. During exercise, the body naturally releases endorphins, which act as the body's natural painkillers.
  3. Get adequate rest: Individuals should strive for seven to eight hours of uninterrupted rest each night. It should also be a habit to awaken and go to bed at the same time each night, weekends included.
Migraine Medical Alerts Conclusion

Medical alerts can be beneficial to those who suffer with chronic illnesses and are an excellent part of an emergency preparedness plan. A medical alert system can be very helpful in the case of a migraine onset, when the individual may be unable to convey their condition.

It is not rare or impossible for migraines to occur for the first time later in life. Oftentimes, if migraine-like symptoms develop for people over the age of 60, other underlying diseases may be present. The best benefit that a medical alert system can provide is peace of mind. You can be reassured of your safety when you use a medical alert.

T. Mashae Pearson - Senior Advisor

Shae is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.