Childhood trips to Disneyland usually bring on smiles. For actress Lisa Kudrow, “A day of excitement and eating would always end in a horrible headache,” she says. Kudrow’s father and siblings were also familiar with migraine pain. Migraines run in families. Children have a 50%-75% chance of having migraines if their parents do. Knowing your family history of migraines may help your doctor know how to treat you.
Actress Marcia Cross seemed unstoppable as perfectionist Bree Van de Kamp on the TV showDesperate Housewives. Off camera, she struggles with migraines. “Having a migraine and trying to work was impossible for me,” she says. “I became nauseous and my vision was affected.” Cross has been a spokeswoman for a triptan migraine medicine. Triptans reduce migraine pain and nausea by narrowing blood vessels.
In 2008, singer Janet Jackson canceled a string of concerts after suffering from vestibular migraines. This type of migraine gives you vertigo — a feeling like the room is spinning. Bright lights and loud sounds may also bother you. About 30% of people with migraines also feel dizziness or vertigo. Vestibular migraines are treated like other migraines, with medicines and by avoiding headache triggers.
Actress and singer Kristin Chenoweth nursed a migraine after winning an Emmy in 2009. Then her doctor suggested Botox. “I haven’t had a full-blown headache since,” she says. Botox is approved for people who have 15 or more migraines a month, but it may not completely cure you. Studies suggest that Botox offers only modest headache relief.
When Grammy winner Carly Simon crooned, “I haven’t got time for the pain,” she wasn’t referring to migraines. But she could have been. Simon has made a lot of lifestyle changes to prevent headaches. “I don’t smoke, I sleep for eight hours, and coffee is not a part of my life,” Simon says. She also avoids alcohol, a common trigger for some people. Red wine, in particular, seems to set off migraines.
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