In December 2015, when Jeremy Kerley, the Jets’ punt returner, woke up on a Sunday morning, he sensed migraine trouble. The migraine became worst when his eyes blurred and he felt what he described as a “sharp, shooting, throbbing pain,” reported the New York Times.
Other football players, such as linebacker Lorenzo Mauldin, have suffered from migraines since adolescence. In a study of 74 high school football players in the Louisville, KY area, 33.8 percent of them suffered from migraines. The rate increased to 37.5 percent in players who reported sustaining a concussion once in their lives, and 40.7 percent in those who reported multiple concussions.
During a game, Kerley wanted to sit or lie down, and leave the field. When he left for the locker room, he received intravenous fluids and oxygen to relieve the migraines, and never returned to the game. Patients with migraines are usually treated intravenously. Kerley is one of approximately 38 million Americans who suffer from migraines.
The Migraine Research Foundation considers migraines a neurological disease. Migraines are related to the brain’s trigeminal nerve, which can become hypersensitive and cause pain signals throughout the brain. The signals concentrate around the eyes or temples. Migraines are clinically similar to post-traumatic headaches, like the headaches that arise after a concussion, according to Dr. Tad Seifert, a neurologist at Norton Healthcare in Louisville, KY.
Similar to epilepsy, people who suffer migraines do not usually talk about them. Kerley has had migraine problems since high school, without knowing when he would be hit with the migraines. His family has a history of getting them. His grandfather and father both dealt with them.
Sometimes nutritional supplements such as fish oil and magnesium assist to relieve and prevent severe headaches. Sometimes people who suffer from migraines believe that they are having problems with their eyes. Light could trigger migraines.
Mauldin wears special contact lenses and a protective shade on his helmet.
Migraines pulsate, and cannot be stopped. In September 2015, a migraine forced Ohio State quarterback Cardale Jones to the emergency room. Some people cannot get out of bed when they have migraines.