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What Causes Migraines in Seniors?

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on

Migraine headaches are characterized by intense throbbing pain and are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to lights and sounds. There are many elderly health conditions that can factor into the development of migraines, which makes it important to understand how to treat or prevent these underlying causes. The staff at Home Care Assistance, a leading provider of in-home care in Chandler, has put together a list of a few of the potential causes of senior migraines.

Depression

Though researchers do not know exactly why migraines and depression are linked, these two conditions often accompany each other. The leading theory is depression and migraines share many of the same environmental risk factors, which include chronic stress, a lack of social interaction, and exposure to toxins. Seniors who exhibit any of the signs of depression should immediately speak with their doctors or psychologists about their treatment options.

Subdural Hematomas

According to the CDC, around 30 percent of adults over age 65 fall at least once a year. When these accidents result in a serious head injury, there is a relatively good chance a subdural hematoma (blood clot in the brain) will take place. You can help your loved one prevent these injuries by keeping the floor free of clutter and installing handrails along stairways and in the bathroom.

High Blood Pressure

Also known as hypertension, high blood pressure is a serious medical condition affecting over 30 percent of all American adults. Migraines are one of the most common side effects of hypertension and often the first symptom a senior will notice when their blood pressure begins to rise. Treating this condition typically requires a mixture of prescription medication and lifestyle changes. With the proper treatment plan, most seniors can manage their side effects or completely reverse the condition.

Brain Tumors

Almost any disease affecting an individual’s immune system, blood pressure, or hormones can increase the risk of a brain tumor. This includes lymphoma, leukemia, HIV, diabetes, and tuberculosis. Anyone who experiences severe headaches for more than 15 consecutive days should immediately contact their doctor and have a full checkup. Catching a brain tumor in its earliest stages can reduce your loved one’s risk of permanent damage.

Because migraines can cause great discomfort for your loved one, it’s important for him or her to lead a healthy lifestyle to help prevent them. If your loved one needs help maintaining healthy habits, reach out to Home Care Assistance. We are a trusted provider of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and post-stroke care in Chandler, and our caregivers are available 24/7 to assist with tasks like meal prep, exercise, and medication reminders. For more information and to request a free consultation, call one of our knowledgeable Care Managers today at 480.448.6215.