Why Do Seniors Get Migraine Headaches?

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Causes of Senior Migraines

By Ted Holmgren, 9:00 am on June 20, 2016

Though younger adults are more commonly known to develop migraines and approximately 40% of people no longer get them by age 65, they can still affect seniors. If your aging loved one has been experiencing these severe headaches, there are a variety of potential reasons. The Scottsdale in-home care experts at Home Care Assistance discuss a few of the possible causes of migraines in the elderly as well as some suggestions for treating these causes.

Life Changes 

A major life-changing situation like retiring may lead to migraines. Once there is no job to go to, the joy your loved one had for life could begin to fade, especially if the job was a major part of his or her self-esteem. This could cause your loved one to become depressed, puzzled, and stressed, and all three of these feelings could affect his or her mood, causing a migraine. To help reduce the amount of free time your loved one has, encourage him or her to volunteer with a community organization. 

Transient Accompaniments 

Visual or sensory changes can lead to migraines. These changes include the loss of vision in one eye, transient blindness, and blurred vision. A doctor can monitor the migraine and rule out if it is actually a transient ischemic attack, also known as a small, short-lasting stroke. It is important for your loved one to seek medical treatment for these types of headaches. A doctor might recommend treatments such as verapamil and divalproex sodium to help stop them.

Vascular Disease 

This disease is caused by a reduced blood flow to the brain, and it typically occurs due to a stroke or a series of strokes. These irregularities in the brain’s blood vessel system can also lead to migraines. Your loved one needs to lead a healthy lifestyle to prevent vascular disease. Stress, poor diet, high cholesterol, excessive drinking, and other unhealthy habits can have a negative effect on the brain, which increases your loved one’s risk of strokes and migraines.

Limited Mobility 

Tension-type headaches are common among seniors who have lost some of their mobility. The resulting loss of independence can cause anxiety and lead to migraines. Your loved one’s mind may become consumed with what he or she is no longer able to do instead of concentrating on positive things. The tension then builds up and results in a headache. Consider purchasing a motorized wheelchair or another device to help your loved one get around better, especially if physical therapy is not an option. You may also want to hire a part-time caregiver in Scottsdale to assist with your loved one’s mobility.

If your loved one frequently experiences migraines and needs help managing the symptoms, turn to Home Care Assistance. We provide the care seniors need to age in place while maintaining their independence, and we also offer specialized Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and stroke care Scottsdale families trust. For more information and to schedule a no-obligation consultation, call 480.448.6215 today.