Migraine Specialist

McDow Medical Corporation

Darren McDow, MD

Internist & Medical Aesthetics Specialist located in Westchester, Los Angeles, CA

More than just a headache, migraines make your head throb, make you sensitive to light and noise, and can even make you sick to your stomach. And when they’re bad, they can be debilitating. Dr. Darren McDow at McDow Medical Corporation in Westchester, Los Angeles, has proven experience in treating migraines, reducing both their severity and frequency.

Migraine Q & A

What are migraine headaches?

Migraines are a specific type of headache that involve severe throbbing or pulsing pain, typically on one side of the head. When suffering from these headaches, you may experience:

  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Visual disturbances

In some cases, migraines can even cause fainting.

What are the stages of a migraine?

Migraines tend to happen in four stages, although not everyone experiences each stage. The first, known as “prodrome,” acts as a warning that a migraine is coming. It can manifest as a change in mood, often one of irritability or depression. You may notice that you feel sluggish and you may have difficulty concentrating. Some people also feel an increased need to urinate or contract diarrhea during prodrome.

The second stage is the aura, which happens to about 10% of migraine sufferers and lasts 10–60 minutes. Because of neurological changes that occur during a migraine, some people experience vision changes. They may see:

  • Dark spots
  • Colored spots
  • Sparkles
  • Zigzag lines

The third stage is the headache or main attack stage. During this stage, the migraine sufferer experiences severe head pain, sometimes on one side of the head and sometimes behind the eyes. The pain may feel unbearable, at times, and lead to nausea or vomiting. Sensitivity to light and sound increases during this stage as well. This period may last from one hour to a few days.

The final stage is postdrome, sometimes referred to as a “migraine hangover.” It’s associated with feelings of fatigue, confusion, and muscle soreness.

How does McDow Medical Corporation treat migraines?

Depending on your specific case, Dr. McDow creates a comprehensive treatment plan to address your migraine headaches. Part of your treatment plan may include medication. Dr. McDow can recommend medication to take at the onset of a migraine, such as:

  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs like acetaminophen or ibuprofen
  • Triptans
  • Ergots

If you have more than four migraines a month, or if your migraines tend to last longer than 12 hours, Dr. McDow may recommend a preventive medication to reduce the frequency and severity of your migraines.

Your treatment plan may also include learning how to recognize your migraine triggers, therefore reducing the number you experience. If you’re suffering from migraine headaches, maybe Dr. McDow can help. Schedule a consultation today.