Another arrrrghhh

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Another arrrrghhh

Post  Cathy on Thu Oct 28, 2010 6:36 am

This was in Prevention magazine this month:

Get rid of messy sticky notes on your desk
In 2 minutes: Head off a migraine

Pull those sticky notes off your computer and straighten that stack of papers on your desk. The same clutter that's merely a nuisance to most of us can be downright painful to people who get migraines, say Scottish researchers. Office litter may provoke debilitating pain by overstimulating whole clusters of nerve cells, much the way an overused muscle will spasm. Even if you're not migraine-prone, clearing away junk helps relieve stress and improve focus.

This is by Dr. Drew from the show The Doctors in the US. No wonder people think migraines are not real. How insulting. 40 years of migraines, over 20 prescriptions and thousands of dollars and all I had to do was clean off my desk? Unbelievable. Head off a migraine? How insulting. He obviously has no idea what a true migraine is.

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  HeelerLady on Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:18 am

Cathy,

I understand your frustration.

However, he might have a point - well for some of us. Depends on how you are wired...my house is a perpetual mess (as is my desk at work) but for those who don't do well with mess - it might be a stressing event. Have you ever walked into a house and it was such a wreck that you were tempted to clean? Granted for some of us it takes more than others but I think it's the same concept. Some people like things very orderly and having clutter drives them insane. Not defending the guy but there might be a nugget of truth to it.
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  Cathy on Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:07 am

Well, I guess there's some truth there.

Sorry, I just got around to reading this. I was cleaining off my desk. lol!

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  alli on Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:20 am

There is some truth to it but it is only one TINY factor in the mess of migraine. I would rather hear something a bit more helpful than clean off my desk. I don't feel well enough to clean.
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  pen on Thu Oct 28, 2010 10:30 am

Oh my, what is a girl to do???? Sad

I dont have a desk.....


lol!

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  jwar on Thu Oct 28, 2010 1:04 pm

While I certainly do not agree that keeping a clean desk is going to stop us from having migraines, I do feel like my nervous system is less irritated when my surroundings are neat and organized. Sadly, that is rarely my state of being. Very Happy

Anyway, I read an interesting article on why this might be the case and thought I'd share: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/04/100408163858.htm

It's more applicable to migraineurs with aura, but an interesting read to anyone I think.
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malls

Post  lentils on Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:17 pm

I read the article abut visual overstimulation.

I try to avoid the malls for that reason. Sometimes the lights bother me. A lot of the stores play techno music and sometimes it is impossible to escape from it. It is particularly bad when I am with other people and can not leave when I have reached my limit.

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  jwar on Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:20 pm

Oh, malls are the worst! The perfume smells, bright lights, chaotic population, noise - ugh, don't these people realize how many migraineurs are in the world?

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  pen on Thu Oct 28, 2010 4:15 pm

I can have problems with the things you mention Jayme.
No aura though, ever. Just pain. And not usually actual migraine.
It can abate if I get out of the place, or with some OTC in time.

P

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  Migrainegirl on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:02 am

Actually other research shows that some people do better with messy desks. They are visual line of sight organizers. They will know in what stack of papers something is. If someone moves it, it will drive them crazy. Their entire memory system is tied up in where things are at on their desk. If things are filed away somewhere they won't remember what tasks they still have to do. I am one of those people. Nothing is worse than a well meaning cleaning person "tidying up" the papers on my desk.

Other people are 'clean desk' people. For them the clutter is an annoyance and potentially stressful. To call it a migraine trigger seems a bit of a stretch to me, but I have not read the details of this new research. Suffice it to say that much of what gets reported in the popular press is often rather overstated compared to what studies actually show, the caveats associated with the conditions and limits or such research, etc...

It seems we have (a) genetic predispositions to migraines which are finally being determined, (b) in many cases physiological weaknesses (hormonal fluctuations, nutritional deficiencies, injuries, etc...), and (c) immediate stressors on the body (lights, foods, caffeine, weather....) that would be minor normally but which given the problems of a and b above lead to the runaway freight train that is a migraine.

While messiness might be a trigger for some super neat people out there, it is pretty silly to say that it 'causes migraines' any more than saying sunlight causes migraines. It is rather like saying sugar causes diabetes. There is a much more complicated set of things going on.

But don't worry. Many people used to think diabetics were just weak willed. Not until they figured out insulin and the role of the pancreas did those attitudes change and people realized it was a real disease. This will be the case with migraine as well. In the meantime try not to give much care to those who just don't get it. Thinking about it will just give you a migraine. Wink
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  jwar on Fri Oct 29, 2010 8:40 am

Migrainegirl,

The link I posted above is pretty interesting. They suggest not that a cluttered environment is a migraine trigger, but rather they did research that showed that migraineurs (with aura) have a difficult time making sense of a cluttered environment. You should read - I found it fascinating!

I am a messy desk person, myself. Really horrible about organization. But I always strive to be better! Very Happy

-J
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  alli on Fri Oct 29, 2010 10:25 am

That is an interesting article. I think in my case the same goes for noise. I have a really hard time picking sounds out when I have a migraine. My hearing becomes hyper-acute in the higher ranges (silverware clincking drives me crazy and WHY do people have to chew sooooo loudly?) but I lose the ability to pick out voices. I have to turn the TV up pretty loud to make out what people are saying and the background music drives me insane. Makes watching tv as a distraction an iffy proposition.

So I think the overstimulation applies to more than visual cues.
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  estre004 on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:29 pm

I guess my only comment is that. I wish they would focus on REAL solutions. My desk is a mess right now and it really doesn't bother me. I know where everything is, and I am very efficient. I admit I feel better when it has just been cleaned and organized but I have never suffered a migraine from it. Wish it was that simple.

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  Zekses on Fri Oct 29, 2010 12:36 pm

http://cs167.vkontakte.ru/u1929106/16454773/x_0bed190e.jpg this is what my desk normally looks like Smile But I honestly dont think that is the cause ^^
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  lentils on Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:52 pm

alli wrote:. My hearing becomes hyper-acute in the higher ranges (silverware clincking drives me crazy and WHY do people have to chew sooooo loudly?) but I lose the ability to pick out voices. I have to turn the TV up pretty loud to make out what people are saying and the background music drives me insane.

My hearing becomes acute in the high ranges also. I first noticed it when listening to music. It is like an auditory aura, for me it usually signals that a migraine is on its way.


Last edited by lentils on Fri Oct 29, 2010 4:53 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : grammar)

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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  mxgo on Fri Oct 29, 2010 5:40 pm

alli wrote:
My hearing becomes hyper-acute in the higher ranges (silverware clincking drives me crazy and WHY do people have to chew sooooo loudly?) but I lose the ability to pick out voices. I have to turn the TV up pretty loud to make out what people are saying and the background music drives me insane."

My sound sensitivity started in Feb or March of this year. I guess it's common for us headache people, I thought mine was due to the use of Lamotrigine (along with indigestion and lower back pain).

I use wireless headphones to listen to my TV. It really helps, to distinguish sounds and voices.

It did go away when I spend three weeks in the San Jose CA. It came back within a couple of weeks upon returning to the Sacramento Area. I hope to return to San Jose in January for another three or four weeks. If it goes away again, the sound sensitivity may be due to allergies.

Thanks for posting the information, it really helps me to understand my symptoms.

Martin
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  Migrainegirl on Fri Oct 29, 2010 11:50 pm

So I looked at the study. Basically it showed the migrainuers did worse at a visual search task. This type of task requires a lot of visual attention, holding a pattern in memory, and visual discrimination. It did not say whether they had an active headache at the time of the study. That people with migraines are over sensitive to visual or auditory stimuli is well established. That we have trouble with focus and concentration when we have a headache (or even one lurking) is also no surprise to any of us. So it certainly makes sense that this group would on average do worse on this type of visual search task. That is a far cry from being able to infer that clutter in any way would bring on a headache. Just that those prone to migraines are more likely to have problems with detailed (and challenging visual search tasks). Think about those complex pictures where you have to find Waldo or some object. Not that representative of our everyday lives.

With respect to noise sensitivity I have this problem also ( as opposed to the visual sensitivity). I know I have a migraine coming on when everything sounds too loud. It got much worse after taking lamotigrine. In fact it became full fledged hyperaccussis. So I ended up getting a migraine from any loud noise, particularly anything over a speaker. I couldn't stand to be anywhere near a speakerphone or music in a store or restaurant, or PA systems in a plane or meeting. I would have to leave the room fast or get a major migraine. I finally had to get it treated, it became such a major trigger. If you are having that problem, I recommend. http://www.chat-hyperacusis.net/. Which is an excellent source for information on this problem and treatments. I have never heard of allergies causing hyperaccusis. But certain drugs like lamotigrine definitely can do so. Basically anything that has tinnitus listed as a possible side effect can lead to hyperaccusis (which is related) as well.
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  mxgo on Sat Oct 30, 2010 6:03 am

Thanks Migrainegirl, I will try the website.

The sound sensitivity did go away when I spent three weeks in the San Francisco Bay Area. It may have been area (allergies) or the acupuncture treatments that I had for my chronic headaches. The headaches decreased quite a bit with the treatments. However, I had also dropped the Lamotrigine (before going to San Jose and I am still off it) and the sound sensitivity came back when I returned to the valley. Well, in January, I will see if the sound sensitivity decreases during my visit to San Jose.

I've tried an acupuncturist here in the Sacramento area, unfortunately, I have not experienced the same results as the San Jose acupuncturist. I will try another one in the near future.

My sister, who is also a migraineur, has also experienced very positive headache relief with the same San Jose area acupuncturist.

As to my desk, it was very neat before the migraines started. Now, it's mostly a mess.

Martin
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

Post  Migrainegirl on Sat Oct 30, 2010 11:35 am

Martin

I suspect your brief period of relief from the sound sensivity was from the accupuncture more so than the location. Accupuncture can provide relief from headaches (and the sound sensivity from them) and apparently results vary considerably between acupuncturists.

To get rid of it completely a method called TRT seems to work the best. You would need to see an audiologist trained in the Jasterboff method.

I know lamotigrine apparently works for some people, but it really messed me up worse than before.
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Re: Another arrrrghhh

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