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_I treat my headaches early_

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'I treat my headaches early'
When Ken Freirich started getting headaches in his early 30s, he didn't know what was causing them. The pain, which started around his temples, would linger for a few days and he'd become nauseated as well. Over time, the headaches became more frequent, striking seven to 10 times a month or more. They became a disruption to his life; he had to cancel social plans and come home from work early. Ken, a 44-year-old executive in Montvale, NJ, discovered the problem was migraines when he went to see his healthcare provider, who prescribed a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory.

Unfortunately, the migraines persisted, and Ken didn't know what was triggering them. One day he was at work and noticed the strong air-conditioning bothered him. Over time, he figured out that cold air was the cause of his headaches, which became worse in the winter. "I wore a hat to bed and in the house, and it helped," says Ken. But he was still getting more than 10 migraines per month. "This was no way to live," he says.

Ken decided to see a neurologist. The doctor advised Ken to start tracking his migraines'to log when he got them, how long they lasted and how severe they were. He also prescribed a triptan medication, which can stop a migraine in its tracks. "I learned I had to treat the headaches early," says Ken. "The faster I treated them, the faster they would go away." Whenever Ken was exposed to cold air and started to get a migraine, he'd take a prescription nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory, and the headache would go away. If it didn't, he would take a triptan.

Today, Ken gets only a few very mild migraines per month. He treats them so quickly that he rarely needs to take a triptan. Recently, he had to host a work-related dinner for 500 people, and he felt a migraine coming on. He took his medication and was fine. "I feel very fortunate that I've identified my trigger and have a treatment plan that works," he says. "I worked with my doctor to get to the point that migraines don't interfere with my life."

Make Ken's strategies work for you

" If one medication isn't working, try another. "You'll need to experiment to find the right one," says Ken.

" Consider seeing a specialist. "If your case is difficult or unusual, you may want to see a headache specialist," says Ken.

" Be prepared. "There's not a day I leave the house without my medication," says Ken. He also takes his hat with him wherever he goes. "Being prepared is half the battle," he says.
Headache Nausea Pain Pain, Head Migraine

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