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Migraines and Cluster Headaches

Migraines and cluster headaches cause intense, throbbing pain on one side of the head. With a migraine, you may have nausea and vomiting and be sensitive to light and sound. You may also have warning signs, such as flashing lights or loss of parts of your vision, before the pain starts. Cluster headaches recur in groups for days, weeks, or months. The pain is centered around or behind one eye. Migraines and cluster headaches can have many causes.

To help prevent migraines and cluster headaches:

  • Avoid aged cheeses, nuts, beans, chocolate, red wine, or foods that contain caffeine, nitrates, and MSG.

  • Don't work in poor lighting.

  • Reduce stress as much as you can.

  • Get plenty of sleep each night.

  • Exercise regularly under your doctor's guidance.

To relieve the pain:

  • Stay quiet and rest.

  • Use cold to numb the pain. Wrap ice or a cold can of soda in a cloth. Hold it against the site of pain for 10 minutes. Repeat every 20 minutes.

  • Avoid light. Wear dark glasses, turn out lights, and close the curtains. When outdoors, wear a brimmed hat.

  • Drink lots of fluids. Sip caffeine-free flat soda to help relieve nausea.

  • See your doctor if you get migraines or cluster headaches often. There are effective medications to help treat them.

Date Last Reviewed:

Date Last Modified: 2008-07-15T00:00:00-06:00

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We see patients from the downtown Seattle, Belltown and South Lake Union areas of Seattle in King County, WA.

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Dr. Feiten was born and raised in Wisconsin, attending the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh for her undergraduate studies. She graduated from Pacific University with her Doctor of Optometry degree in 1987. She practiced in Kentucky for seven years, receiving the Young OD of the Year Award in 1994.

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1918 Third Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101
206.623.1758
Fax: 206.623.1759
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