- Throbbing pain, often on one side of the head
- Temporary vision loss
- Seeing flashes or “floaters” in your line of vision
- Pain behind an eye or ear
- Extreme sensitivity to sound or light
- Nausea and vomiting
- Pain around the temples
What triggers migraines in seniors?
When an elderly person experiences an intense headache, it is sometimes related to an injury or another medical condition (secondary headache). For example, a headache may be associated with:
- Head trauma. Roughly one third of people older than 65 experience a falling accident at least once a year, and many of these accidents involve head injuries that can lead to severe headaches.
- Temporal arteritis (TA). Headaches are the most common symptom of temporal arteritis, a condition that prompts the temporal arteries to swell and narrow.
- Trigeminal neuralgia. This condition occurs when the trigeminal nerve that controls facial feeling is compressed, which can cause extreme facial pain.
- Stroke. A severe headache often accompanies a stroke. If you or your loved one has a sudden and intense headache, seek emergency medical care.
As previously mentioned, there are subtle differences between a migraine and an intense headache. Migraines are largely considered to be a primary headache disorder, which means it does not result from another medical condition. Some common migraine triggers in people of all ages include hormonal changes, stress, lack of sleep, certain medications, high-impact physical activity, and sensory stimuli like loud noises and bright lights.
- Taking medications designed to prevent or relieve the symptoms of migraines
- Drinking plenty of water
- Staying active with low-impact exercises like walking and swimming
- Alternative approaches like herbal remedies, vitamins, and acupuncture
- Engaging in relaxing activities like journaling and yoga
- Getting more sleep
If left untreated
Migraines don’t last forever. Most pass after about 4 hours, but some can linger and start occurring more frequently. If your loved one is struggling to cope with migraines or severe headaches, there’s no reason to avoid treatment when medical intervention can provide relief.
Chronic conditions like migraines and the disorders associated with them are best managed by a medical specialist or primary care provider. However, if your loved one needs prompt relief for a severe headache, waiting days for an appointment simply isn’t an option. That’s where DispatchHealth can help. Within a matter of hours after you contact us, a qualified medical team will be at your loved one’s doorstep ready to assist. We are equipped to provide many of the same services that an emergency room provider can, and will send a detailed medical report to his or her physician to ensure a seamless care experience. We have a pharmacy of medications that can be administered through an injection, by mouth, or intravenously if required, all of which is safe and effective to do in the comfort of your home.
Contact DispatchHealth via our app, our website, or over the phone to request care today. We accept most major health insurance carriers, including Medicare and Medicaid, and offer an affordable flat rate to uninsured patients.
If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, please call 911 or go to the nearest emergency department.
Medically reviewed by Dr. Phil Mitchell MD, MS on October 3rd, 2019