What is chronic migraine?
Chronic migraine is characterized by recurrent or protracted headaches and migraine attacks. Your symptoms from a chronic migraine may change every day or even every hour. Because of this, it may be difficult to distinguish between one migraine or headache and another.
What distinguishes a headache from a migraine?
A migraine is more than just a painful headache. Although both headaches and migraines are included in the International Classification of Headache Disorders’ definition of chronic migraine, they are not the same.
Although headaches are normally unpleasant and inconvenient, they are rarely severe enough to prevent you from carrying out your regular activities. Headaches of the tension type (TTH) are the most prevalent kind. Pain that just affects your head or face but not your brain is the primary sign of TTH.
Because they directly affect your brain, migraines can be very painful. The symptoms frequently get severe enough to interfere with your daily routine and activities. When you have a migraine, it can be excruciating to try to go about your life as you would in normal conditions.
How widespread are chronic migraines?
Around 12% to 15% of people globally suffer from migraines, making them familiar. Experts believe that between 1% and 2.2% of individuals globally suffer from chronic migraine.
People designated as female at birth (AFAB) and women are more prone to suffer from chronic migraine. Compared to 0.6% to 0.7% of men and people who were designated male at birth, between 1.7% and 4% of women and people who identify as AFAB suffer from chronic migraine.
Typically, migraines begin around adolescence and become less common as you get older. After menopause, migraines infrequently occur in women and individuals with AFAB or completely disappear.
Utilizing the Internet as a tool:
For mostly everyone, the internet is a source of inspiration and personal relationships. You may read up on migraine-related advice or discover online and discuss it with your headache specialist. You have access to information that leads to access to treatments because of technology and the internet.
Every day you get to learn something new from the internet, including suggestions for medications and nonpharmaceutical treatments. Equally important, you interact with people and receive emotional support and recognition.
It can be very lonely having a chronic migraine. Many of us must avoid most social settings because sensory input can be uncomfortable or overwhelming.
Because of the widespread stigma associated with migraine, it can be difficult for others to comprehend what you are going through. You have access to thousands of others with the same ailment as you who understand thanks to websites like Facebook groups and Instagram.
Tech and devices:
Your physical interaction with technology has also changed significantly. Some of you may have been up around assistive technology because somebody you knew or were close to, subsequently required voice-to-text or needed hearing aids. However, it might have taken you a while before you started looking to technology for assistance with your migraine sickness.
In fact, technology can be used to relieve migraine symptoms or even stop an attack from happening. Devices for neuromodulation can stimulate nerves and control abnormal neural circuit behavior. There are five products available right now that target certain nerves. Some of them you may have already tried but they do not work well for you, but some others you cannot live without. Some devices allow returns and are worth checking into, even though the majority are expensive and out of reach for many people. Like everything related to migraines, you must try it to see whether it works for you.
Technology can lessen uncomfortable sensory input or migraine triggers. With noise-canceling headphones or earbuds, you can hear while the noise level is reduced. You can use software to block the light emitted from digital screens that aggravate migraines.
Your screen’s brightness may always be set to a lesser level. Technology has advanced a bit in the eyewear industry. Glasses can be coated with specific materials that block out unpleasant light waves while remaining secure for indoor use.
Screen time balance
While technology benefits you, you also require assistance to use it. One of the many paradoxes of migraine disorder is what some refer to as the migraine dance.
Social media and email might give us the impression that we need to be online constantly. It is critical to balance your screen time if too much screen time triggers another migraine attack.
Disabling or restricting your phone’s alerts can come to be helpful to you on this trip. Apps that alert you when you have spent too much time on an app can help you reduce your screen time.
This feature is integrated into some programs, such as Instagram. Even software exists that restricts access to apps after a predetermined period. You just need a self-discipline app at this point.
Choosing the appropriate time
Previously, you may not have ever placed such a high value on ergonomics. When utilizing displays, your neck and spine must be in the ideal position to prevent attacks. To position your feet correctly, you may use yoga blocks and frequently must lie down to ensure that your neck is properly supported. In addition, you may extend your neck and shoulders before, during, and after using the computer.
It is crucial to use technology in a way that suits you at the time. Loss of eyesight and hearing, fatigue, or pain are potential side effects of screen use. A lot of the time, you may experience headaches that make it impossible for you to see, hurt your eyes, or make it difficult for you to hear.
Online content varies in terms of sound quality and content, so you never know what you will find. Thankfully, technology can also help with that. If your eyes are tired or need a rest, screen readers, voice-activated software, and voice-to-text programs can be helpful. You may not have tested the software with every application yet. A steep learning curve is possible as well. You must have been struggling to locate the ideal software to utilize, and it is perfectly okay.
Captions make video content more accessible to people in a variety of situations and are excellent if you have hearing loss or are sensitive to sounds. Some of us use captions when viewing TV and turn off the sound on our phones and PC. Although some apps do offer auto-captions, we hope that more users will include captions with their work.
Virtual opportunities and events
This dreadful pandemic’s sudden access to the world, from doctor appointments to music concerts, has been a blessing. When lockdowns related to the COVID-19 epidemic started, our environments briefly opened and our virtual options were increased. We were swiftly able to even take dance classes from our previous instructors for the first time in years.
The comfort has found us at our homes. We were able to attend the sessions in our bedrooms, where we had control over the environment’s sounds, scents, and levels and could lay down as needed. We could visit art galleries and attend exhibitions without running into the danger of getting ill. We could even visit galleries that featured amazing 3D tours of its exhibits.
The greatest way to experience these things is undoubtedly in person, but if that is too demanding for your brain disease, you will settle with the next best thing. It was amazing that musicians were broadcasting shows. Remote doctor visits have increased in frequency.
You may have been able to visit a headache clinic that was previously too far away because of telehealth, which has thankfully endured. Working from home is yet another significant step towards increasing accessibility.
Finding future optimism
There is potential for the world to be more approachable. We all require more tools to interact with the world as we age, even if it might seem like a smaller fraction of the population needs these resources. More individuals need to speak up in favor of improved access for themselves or their loved ones. Our life with migraines is influenced by technology, and now we have been happy to live in this era. We could be optimistic for the future of new assistive technology and more accessibility for persons with migraine and other impairments.
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