Migraines affect one billion people worldwide, making it the third most prevalent illness on the planet. This neurological disease can cause severe pain, visual disturbances, vomiting, dizziness, and nausea. Some people also experience tingling or numbness in the face and sensitivity to light, sound, touch, and smell.
If you experience more than 15 migraines a month, your condition is chronic, and it can make everyday tasks feel unbearable. In combination with medications, Botox may help you effectively treat the symptoms. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is Botox and Is It Safe?
Botox is a drug made from botulinum toxin. Most people think of its cosmetic uses, but Botox can treat various conditions such as cervical dystonia, strabismus, and chronic migraines. It blocks nerve signals resulting in weakened or paralyzed muscles.
While the drug comes from Clostridium botulinum — the same bacteria that causes deadly botulism — it’s considered safe because of the small dosage. In the U.S., the FDA includes a warning that all Botox injections could potentially lead to the spreading of botulinum toxins to other regions of the body — however, there have been no reported cases of this occurring.
How Can Botox Reduce Migraine Symptoms?
Specialists can use Botox to treat migraine headaches. While the results are not fully understood, it’s believed that it disrupts the nerve pathways which transmit and produce pain substances. For some patients, this treatment can substantially reduce the number of headaches they experience, which allows them to enjoy their lives without interruption.
How Often Should You Get the Treatment?
For the treatment to remain effective, you need to get the procedures every three months. If you get it too frequently, it will become ineffective because your body will develop antibodies. Each person metabolizes the toxin differently, so you may be able to go longer between treatments.
What Are Potential Side Effects?
As with any medical treatment, there will be potential side effects. Patients may experience pain or swelling at the injection site, headaches, fever, or chills. The location of the injection could influence what side effects occur. For instance, people who receive treatment near these eyes may experience temporary dry eyes, uneven brows, or drooping eyelids. In other locations, patients could experience slight or partial paralysis of the face or muscle spasms.
In properly regulated doses, Botox carries minimal risk. If you experience any side effects, most pass within a few days.
How Much Does it Cost?
The cost varies based on your insurance plan. If your plan covers very little of the expenses, receiving treatment four times a year can become costly. However, the average out of pocket cost is $164 with each treatment. The key is researching companies that will fit your needs and provide you with affordable coverage.
Is It the Solution for You?
If you suffer from chronic migraines and your medication and other treatment options are failing, then Botox may be the best choicer for you. If you decide to try the procedure, it’s crucial that you remain patient. The positive effects usually take a few weeks to be felt, which can leave you wondering if it’s really working.
Knowledge Is Power
Botox injections aren’t for everyone, so knowing the potential benefits and side effects can help you make an educated choice. Remember that knowledge is power, so talk to your doctor for more information before making a final decision.