Headache-Adviser.com

Males and migraines.

by Nick
(Oklahoma )

Ever since I was a teenager I have been having migraines with all the vision problems and aura. I didn't realize what it was until now. I am in my 20s.

Typically the pain is mild and it occurs like every 4-6 months, but recently I had one that was debilitating and I couldn't get out of bed for two days. From what i understand, migraines are rare in males. Should I be concerned?

Nick

Answer:

Hi Nick,

While migraines are more common in women, actually that prevalence starts only in the 20s. In childhood and adolescence the incidence of migraine is about 1:1 boys to girls. It is you guys who tend to grow out of them.

While it does sound like you have had mild episodic migraine, it is a little concerning that you had a "change" to your headache profile. If you have not seen your doctor to discuss this I would advise it. A change (going from mild to severe disabling migraine) is a bit of a flag from the headache specialist's point of view. You most probably should have an MRI just to be safe.

You might also want to talk about treatment to have on hand in case you have another headache. At your age and if healthy, there is no reason as to why you couldn't take a triptan at the onset of the migraine. Medications such as Imitrex, Maxalt and the rest are very effective when taken early, at the onset of headache.

Good luck
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Migraine Headaches at age 81

by Joanne S
(Phoenix, AZ, USA)

My husband age 81 has Migraines so severe that he losses his eyesight for about 30 minutes. He doesn't have them very often maybe 3 times a year. After resting in a dark room with eyes closed he is fine. Is this a very dangerous symptom of a mini stroke?

Thank you.

Joanne S.

Answer:

Hi Joanne,

Good question! I get asked this one a lot.

In general, more than 12 uncontrolled migraines per year will increase the risk of stroke. The risk is a little higher in migraineurs who have auras. Additional risk factors include uncontrolled high blood pressure, high cholesterol, family history, age and the most important one..obesity.

What is a bit concerning is that your husband is having visual symptoms. Is this blurred, distorted vision? If so it most probably is an aura. However, if he is totally losing his vision (total blindness) then he needs to see a neurologist as yes this could be a TIA (transient ischemic attack) more commonly called a "mini-stroke".

Either way, there is medication he can take, even at his age which can avoid the need to rest in a quiet room.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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Headaches

by jamie lindsey
(laurel,ms)

Iam 40yrs old male and I've suffered with migaines as long I can
remmember. I get one when i get hot; it doesnt matter what activity I'am doing I'am going to get one. I've tried alot of meds. I currently take 400mg of zonagram everyday. I have several different meds i take at the onset of a migraine. (relpax, cambia, shots) Ive tried different ones and they only work for a short time. I miss alot work and family outings. Please help.

Jamie,

Answer:

Hi Jamie,

People who get migraines with activity usually have exercise induced migraine. Pretreating with Naprosyn 500mg 1/2 hour before exercise may help, or perhaps propranolol 10mg. You can't take propranolol if you have asthma.

If you are missing a lot of work/social activities, I would advise you see a headache specialist. There is a list on the link provided, of headache specialists by state. You might consider talking to this physician about Botox for migraines. We have been utlizing this in our clinic for almost 7 years now and getting very good results.

If your headaches are triggered by hot weather, you might also consider starting magnesium and work it up to 800mg per day. This has been shown to be effective against migraine.

Good luck,
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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my husband and his headache

by Ruby W
(Jamestown, new york, usa)

My husband is a fifty year old male with diabetes and now he has seen his primary doctor for symptoms of sharp stabbing pain in his left eye and it radiates to his left temple and around to the back of his head. Could this be a sign of a brain tumor?

Ruby

Answer:

Hi Ruby,

A new onset of headache in someone over the age of 50 should be taken seriously, especially in a diabetic. There is a rare type of headache that occurs only in people 50 years old and older known as temporal arteritis. This is inflammation of the temporal artery and can put someone at risk for stroke. Because of this bloodwork should be ordered that would include an ESR and CRP which are inflammatory factors we look for in this headache.

Brain tumor headaches usually are a dull headache all over the head that increases as the day goes on and pressure builds up in the brain. They are actually somewhat uncommon, however I would recommend that your husband have an MRI of the brain. Because he is diabetic and 50 years old, carotid dopplers should also be performed.

You do not say how long the headache lasts so it is a little difficult to say what else it might be. Although migraine usually starts when someone is younger, it can actually start at any time in a person's life.

If the headaches persist, he is welcome to come to our Orchard Park, NY office as we see many people from Jamestown there. Dr. Nicolas Saikali is our headache expert in that office.

Good luck!
Mary Kay Betz MS RPA-C

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