Under Pressure: Coping With Migraines


Sitting in school, they get visual disturbances, nausea, and dizziness. Vomiting can also occur, as well as extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.

There is 12% of the population that suffers from splitting headaches called migraines. These headaches are not normal headaches, that you get from a cold or sinus infection. Migraines are headaches are the narrowing and expanding of the brain’s blood vessels due to overactive nerve cells.

Migraines are considered a disability and are the third most prevalent illness in the world. The pain faced from a migraine can range from mild to completely debilitating. Sophomore Aelish Davenport has been suffering from hereditary migraines for as long as she can remember.

“When I get a migraine I try to either come in late or leave early so that I don’t miss a whole day of school,” Davenport said.

Senior Sabrina Swartz is among the 90% of sufferers unable to cope with the pain, and deal with the side effects of migraines.

I get dizzy and really sensitive to lights and noises. Sometimes I get nauseous and if it’s a really, really bad one I can’t do anything,” Swartz said.

Each person has different triggers, including stress. It’s no coincidence that 10% of school aged children suffer from migraines. Sophomore Maria Falzarano suffers from migraines as well, and can testify that school related stress the biggest triggers of her migranes. Other triggers include; food, food additives, drinks, bright lights, changes in sleep pattern, environment changes and medications.

“School stresses me out and [makes me] nervous, and I tend to get migraines when I’m nervous. [My other trigger is] bright lights and younger siblings,” said Falzarano.

Some of those who suffer from migraines have tried alternative treatments including acupuncture, massages, supplements, and relaxation techniques.

“I’ve tried meditation and warm or cool compresses, and I’ve also tried peppermint oil and caffeine,” Davenport said.

Most people take medicine but does and frequency can vary. Some take it daily, while others only after the onset of a migraine.

“I take gabapentin, but I take really big doses; I take three 800 milligram tablets a day. That still doesn’t do a lot,” Swartz said .

Despite the medication that people take for migraines, this debilitating disease can affect them from day to day. Sophomore Holly Jung suffers from these symptoms constantly.

“[School] makes me way too stressed out,” Jung said, “I stay home because I can’t talk, think, eat, or do anything,”


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