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Can A Migraine Last A Week

When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

  • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
  • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
  • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
  • You have pain around the eye or ear
  • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
  • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
  • You have a headache with convulsions
  • You have a headache after a blow to the head
  • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot

What Are The Treatments For Migraine

There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.

When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some people find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited .

Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhapsanti-inflammatory drugssuch as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor. If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving your symptoms, your GP might prescribe you atriptan to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers . Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals , although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking triptans. Your doctor may also prescribe youanti-sickness medication. If your situation does not improve after treatment, you might be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.

It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than two days per week or more than 10 days per month as this can in fact make things worse by triggeringmedication overuse headaches.

What To Do If You Feel A Migraine Coming

At the first sign of a migraine, take a break and step away from whatever youre doing if possible.

  • Turn off the lights. Migraines often increase sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Try temperature therapy. Apply hot or cold compresses to your head or neck.
  • Drink a caffeinated beverage.
  • READ:  What is the spark plug gap for a 99 Honda Civic?

    What Research Is Being Done

    Several studies either conducted or supported by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke , a part of the National Institutes of Health, are revealing much about the headache process and may lead to new treatments or perhaps ways to block debilitating headache pain. Studies by other investigators are adding insight to headache etiology and treatment.

    Understanding headache mechanisms and underlying causes

    The molecular basis for migraine headaches and the aura associated with certain migraines is uncertain. One multi-faceted research study is examining how migraine with aura may affect metabolism and neurophysiological function. Investigators are also studying if particular regions of the visual cortex are unusually susceptible to the events in the brain that cause the aura. Another study component is investigating what happens at the beginning of a headache and how changes in the brain’s meninges may lead to vascular and trigeminal nerve stimulation associated with the painful part of a migraine headache. Results may provide a greater understanding of migraine and assist the development of new therapies.

    Social and other factors may impact headache. Researchers are examining how race and psychiatric conditions are related to headache severity, quality of life, the ability to reliably follow a treatment program, and treatment response in people with migraines, tension-type headache, substance abuse headache, or cluster headache.

    Genetics of headache

    What Is A Severe Migraine

    Migraine Awareness Week

    A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. Its often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, and the pain can be so severe that it interferes with your daily activities.

    When To Go To The Emergency Room For A Headache Or Migraine

    Headache is one of the most common reasons for an emergency room visit. Some people go due chronic headache or Migraine problems that do not go away with treatment, and in other cases, headache is a symptom of another medical problem.

    The best reason for an ER visit is for unusual symptoms that are new to you. You may seek attention to make sure there is no chance of another problem such as aneurysm or meningitis. A severe headache that starts very suddenly can mean another disorder such as stroke.

    New symptoms such as a fever, weakness, vision loss or double vision, or confusion are some of most concerning symptoms. If you have a new symptom and serious, life-threatening medical problems such as liver, heart or kidney disease, are pregnant, or have a disorder that affects your immune system such as HIV infection, an ER visit may be more essential.

    For many patients, an ER visit for headache or Migraine happens after a long period of severe headache lasting days or weeks. After long time of experiencing severe headaches, you may reach the last straw and no longer be able to deal with the problem.

    ER doctors are not specialists in headache and Migraine, and their goals are to make sure there is no serious, life-threatening problem and help reduce suffering. Different ER doctors have different ways to treat acute headaches and Migraine: there is no universal protocol for emergency treatment of headache disorders.

    When going to the ER, be sure to mention:

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    Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men

    Yes. About three out of four people who have migraines are women. Migraines are most common in women between the ages of 20 and 45. At this time of life women often have more job, family, and social duties. Women tend to report more painful and longer lasting headaches and more symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. All these factors make it hard for a woman to fulfill her roles at work and at home when migraine strikes.

    When To Seek Medical Help

    The American Migraine Foundation estimate that less than of people with migraine seek help from a doctor.

    If a migraine episode lasts for longer than is typical for an individual, they should seek a doctors advice.

    They should visit the emergency room if a migraine episode becomes too severe and at-home treatments do not alleviate symptoms.

    An individual should seek immediate medical attention if they have the following :

    • an extremely severe headache
    • a headache that starts abruptly like a , especially if the individual is aged over 50 years
    • a migraine headache accompanied with a stiff neck, or , confusion, slurred speech, or seizures
    • speech, vision, movement, or balance problems that differ from the regular migraine pattern

    Always seek medical attention if someone has a headache following a head injury.

    When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

    • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
    • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
    • Your headache comes on suddenly.
    • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

    Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

    • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
    • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

    Understanding What Causes Headaches And Finding Treatments To Relieve The Pain

    Nearly everyone has had headache pain, and most of us have had it many times. A minor headache is little more than a nuisance that’s relieved by an over-the-counter pain reliever, some food or coffee, or a short rest. But if your headache is severe or unusual, you might worry about stroke, a tumor, or a blood clot. Fortunately, such problems are rare. Still, you should knowwhen a headache needs urgent careand how to control the vast majority of headaches that are not threatening to your health.

    Other Acute Migraine Treatment Options

    In addition to the drugs mentioned above, other options for acute migraine relief include the prescription ; a class of drugs called ergots, which are sometimes used in people who dont respond to triptans; and a variety of neurostimulation devices that deliver magnetic or electric pulses to specific nerves involved in migraine.

    If the combination of drugs and home remedies youre using to stop migraine attacks isnt working, speak to your doctor about other treatment possibilities.

    RELATED: How to Get Rid of a Headache or Migraine Attack Fast

    Could My Migraine Attack Be A Symptom Of Covid

    We are still learning about migraine and , says Spears. We do know that the COVID-19 headache usually presents differently than a typical headache. Its been described as intense pressure in the head that is made significantly worse with coughing and sneezing, he says.

    Is it true that people with migraine are more likely to experience headache as a symptom of COVID-19? There isnt enough data to know if thats the case with COVID-19, but it is true in many other conditions, says Spears.

    If someone has migraine and they develop a sinus infection, theyre more likely to develop a migraine-like headache. When people with migraine have anything going on thats head- or neck-related, theyre more likely to experience a migraine-like headache, he says.

    This also applies in people with migraine who also have diabetes or high blood pressure, says Spears. If something is going on in the entire body or systemically, theyre more likely to manifest that in migraine-like headache if they have a history of migraine, he says.

    Related: A Guide to Living With Migraine During the COVID-19 Pandemic

    How Are Migraines Diagnosed

    Migraines: A General Overview

    Despite their dramatic symptoms, migraines are almost never due to an underlying problem that will show up on any testing, even on brain MRIs. Many experts do not recommend brain imaging at all, even in severe cases, as long as the patient’s symptoms are typical for migraines and a thorough neurological examination is normal.

    There are extremely rare families that have migraines as a result of a single genetic mutation in one of four known genes that can lead to the condition called familial hemiplegic migraine. There are no genetic tests for the vast majority of patients. Because the condition cannot be diagnosed by scan or blood test, the diagnosis is “clinical” made by an experienced physician.

    Whats A Migraine Journal

    • Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
    • The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
    • What are your symptoms? Be specific.
    • Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
    • Note the weather.
    • Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
    • Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
    • Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
    • List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
    • How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
    • Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?

    How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache

    Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:

    In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:

  • Moderate-to-severe headache
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light
  • If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.

    What Does Status Migrainosus Mean

    Status migrainosus, also known as an intractable migraine, is a severe migraine that persists for longer than 72 hours. The symptoms associated with status migrainosus are the same as those an individual may experience during a typical migraine attack. Status migrainosus pain often requires medical attention due to its length and severity; conversely, an average migraine can be treated with medication, or its symptoms may disappear on their own.

    Does The Duration Of Pain Vary By Types Of Migraine Like Migraine With Aura Or Vestibular Migraine

    No, there is no specific correlation between the duration of migraine pain and the types of migraine. Some individuals with aura may have no headache at all. In others, when they do have aura, then they understand the attack is going to be particularly severe and may potentially last longer. There isn’t any general rule that suggests that when you have aura it will change the duration of your headache

    Vestibular migraine is a migraine attack that’s associated with symptoms that are believed to involve the vestibular system, like dizziness or vertigo, ringing in the ears, other hearing symptoms, or changes in balance or coordination

    Attacks of vestibular migraine are fairly long in duration in terms of the vestibular symptoms, but the headache component of it varies from person to person. One of the confusing things about this particular type of migraine is that the headache component may actually be minor compared to other .

    Your Doctor And Your Migraine

    If you are unsure about the cause or nature of your headache, need assistance in managing migraine, or if the pattern of your condition changes, it is important you consult a doctor. Sometimes, changes in the nature of your headache or migraine could signify the presence of a more dangerous neurological disorder.

    Migraine has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the most disabling chronic illnesses, so its important to recognise the impact it is having on your life and address it accordingly. To communicate the impact of migraine to your doctor a migraine diary is important. Ideally your migraine diary documents:

    • When you experience migraine attacks
    • The nature of the pain and accompanying symptoms
    • Potential triggers
    • Work days or social events missed due to migraine

    All these factors will help your doctor understand the scope of your migraine, and help to recommend the best treatment for you.

    See more about managing migraine with your doctor >>>

    Early Hints Of Vestibular Migraine

    As stated earlier, when it comes to this variant form of migraine, dizziness and balance symptoms can occur with or without head pain. Because often there is no headache, many people with vestibular migraine have difficulty believing their diagnosis is migraine. However, many with VM have a history of motion sensitivity such as car sickness since childhood which is an early hint about our movement sensitive brains. That was definitely true for me. I had terrible car sickness as a child and its lasted into adulthood.

    Looking back, my brain has always hinted its sensitivity to movement. In my 20s I also had a visual vertigo attack, although I didnt know it was called that. My guy and I were scrolling through websites looking to purchase a new house and a few minutes into it I experienced my first vertigo attack that lasted a few hours. When my doctor was reviewing my history he almost giggled when I told him as if I just made his diagnosis really easy. I had no history of head pain, but I do have a history of sensitivity to movement and so do many others with VM.

    There is good news! Are you ready for it? You CAN recover from relentless dizziness with an effective vestibular migraine treatment plan. Once effective treatment is in place, dizziness begins to fade. Then disease looks more like how its outlined in books with dizziness occurring only alongside attacks that last hours to a few days. There really is so much hope for control over symptoms.

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    What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine

    If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.

    You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.

    Can Migraines Cause Permanent Brain Damage

    The Stages of a Migraine

    A recent study of migraine patients indicated that migraines may increase the risk of white matter brain lesions, according to The Telegraph. The study also showed that migraines can alter a persons brain volume. As such, migraine patients may be more susceptible than others to brain abnormalities.

    What Are The Common Symptoms Of Vestibular Migraine

    People with vestibular migraine may have any combination of the following list of common symptoms. They may or may not have headache pain as a symptom:

    • Anxiety
    • Sensitivity to scents and fragrance
    • Tinnitus
    • Vertigo or a sense of movement when youre not moving at all.

    I experienced every symptom above. Many of you know that I was housebound for many months, too dizzy to leave the house. I fought my way out of those daily symptoms and now I work full time and live a full, active life. I get so many questions about what I did to get better that I thought Id write out my vestibular migraine recovery plan for anyone whos interested.

    My Vestibular Migraine Recovery Goal

    The main goal of my treatment plan is to calm down my hyper-responsive, over sensitive and dizzy migraine brain so I can live a normal, active life without having to constantly manage and think about triggers. I firmly believe if you are new to VM your goal in life should be to calm your brain down. I accomplished that through a three-part migraine recovery treatment plan that includes preventive, abortive and rescue strategies. There are MANY pieces to each part. You will see some overlap as some fit into more than one category.

    1. My Preventive Plan

    The Details of My Migraine Recovery Plan for Prevention

    Hydration Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! Your brain needs to be properly hydrated to recover. I am ALWAYS working on this. Why is drinking a daily adequate amount of water so hard?

    3. The Details of My Rescue plan

    Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like

    A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.

    What Causes A Migraine

    The cause of migraine headaches is complicated and not fully understood. When you have a headache its because specific nerves in your blood vessels send pain signals to your brain. This releases inflammatory substances into the nerves and blood vessels of your head. Its unclear why your nerves do that.

    When To See Your Doctor

    If youre experiencing migraines for the first time or with increased severity or frequency, talk to your doctor. You can see your general practitioner, who may refer you to a neurologist or headache specialist. If you start experiencing any new symptoms along with a migraine, you should also call your doctor.

    A sudden or unusual migraine can be a symptom of a medical emergency. If a sudden, severe headache comes on with the following symptoms, seek emergency medical attention immediately:

    • severe vomiting and nausea

    What Is Vestibular Migraine

    Vestibular migraine is a variant and less common form of migraine that adds inappropriate processing of movement to the list of triggers above. Some experience head pain but others with vestibular migraine experience no pain at all. Instead, our movement sensitivity causes vestibular symptomssuch as disorientation, visual disturbances, nausea, loss of balance, vertigo and vomiting.

    Sensitivity to movement in vestibular migraine includes visual movement like seeing trees swaying, water rippling, cars passing by, busy crowded rooms and movement seen on screens like tablets and phones. It also includes sensitivity to physical movement like walking, riding a bike or riding in a vehicle. Many with VM are so sensitive to movement that even the movement of our own bodies such as shifting your eye gaze to scan a room, bending down to pick something up off the floor or turning your head can cause dizziness. So both movement we see and movement we feel can create symptoms.

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    What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

    Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine

    The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea and sometimes vomiting , and an increased sensitivity to light smells and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving.

    Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration , and an increased need to pass urine. This can occur before, during or after the migraine attack.

    People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea.

    It is common for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.

    Phases Of A Migraine Attack

    Can Migraines last for a week ?

    Often a migraine attack involves distinct phases, though people can experience them differently, says Roderick Spears, MD, a neurologist and headache specialist at Penn Medicine in Philadelphia.

    Prodrome Phase This first phase of migraine can occur hours to days prior to the attack, says Dr. Spears. It typically involves a change in mood and energy; certain cravings or excessive yawning can be a sign of , he says.

    People sometimes confuse these prodrome, or premonitory, symptoms, with migraine triggers. Thats to say, a person who craves chocolate as a prodrome symptom may mistakenly believe that consuming chocolate triggered the migraine attack, according to MigraineAgain.

    Aura About 25 to 35 percent of people with migraine have aura, says Spears. The most common aura is a visual change with a kaleidoscope-like phenomenon that can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour but usually much less than an hour, he says. Other aura symptoms may include tingling sensations, numbness, garbled speech, and clumsiness or weakness.

    Headache Phase This stage can last 4 to 72 hours, and in most patients, its marked by a headache on one side of the head thats throbbing and pulsating in quality. Typically, the pain is described as moderate to severe, says Spears.

    The headache phase is also associated with becoming sensitive to the environment, he adds. Light, sound, and odor sensitivity are common, as are nausea and vomiting, he says.

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