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Can Migraines Be A Sign Of Something More Serious

What To Do For Babys Headache

Is it an Emergency?
  • Continue offering fluids, such as breast milk/formula.
  • Snuggle her in a dark, quiet room. Decreased stimulation helps.
  • Avoid vigorous bouncing or swaying. Rock your love gently.
  • Put a cool washcloth across her forehead.
  • Hang onto your patience, mom and dad. Increased crying is exhausting for all of you, I can empathize. Take turns and take a break when needed â you got this.

Because babies cannot tell us theyâre having headaches, always check with their pediatrician if you think something is going on. Even if youâre convinced it is âjustâ a headache!

What Are The Symptoms Of An Ocular Migraine

The most common ocular migraine symptom is a small blind spot that impairs your central vision in one eye.

This blind spot expands, making it difficult to drive safely or read using the affected eye.

In addition to the flickering blind spot, other migraine symptoms include:

  • A colorful light ring that is wavy or zigzag and surrounds a central blind spot
  • A blind spot that slowly migrates across your field of vision
  • A migraine lasting between 4 and 42 hours
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Vision loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • A headache that feels worse when you move your head

If you have blind spots or other visual symptoms and arent sure whether it’s an ocular migraine or a visual migraine, cover one eye at a time and observe your sense of sight. If the visual disturbance affects one eye only, it is most likely an ocular migraine.

When Is A Headache Serious

A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp or neck. Headaches can be minor annoyances or cause debilitating pain, and in rare cases they can indicate the onset of a dangerous condition such as stroke or aneurysm. Serious causes of headaches are rare, however. Most headaches respond to lifestyle changes, learning ways to relax and occasional over-the-counter medicines. What do your headache symptoms indicate and when should you seek medical care?

The most common type of headache is tension headache. The pain may feel dull or squeezing, like a tight band or vice. Your shoulders, neck or jaw may feel tight or sore. It is likely caused by tight muscles in your shoulders, neck, scalp and jaw. A tension headache:

  • May be related to stress, depression, anxiety, a head injury or holding your head and neck in an abnormal position
  • Tends to be on both sides of your head, often starting at the back of the head and spreading forward

A migraine headache involves severe pain. It usually occurs with other symptoms, such as vision changes, nausea and sensitivity to sound or light, and it can be preceded by an aura, or a group of warning symptoms. Migraine pain may be throbbing, pounding or pulsating. Migraines:

Cluster headaches are sharp, very painful headaches that are short-lived but occur daily or more for a period of months before stopping. Weeks or months may pass before they return, and for some people, they never return. Cluster headaches:


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Child & Baby Headache

My three go-tos for mild or infrequent headaches? Water, a nap, or ibuprofen. But what about when our kids get headaches? That can be a little more concerning. And can our baby get a headache? What are the signs and symptoms of a baby headache? What about a baby or child migraine? Or maybe without experiencing any other signs and symptoms, your child has a fever and headache only? And as if symptoms arenât hard enough to decipher, weâve got abdominal migraines in children to throw in the mix.

Concussion Not Needing Imaging

15 Signs Your Headache Could Be Something More Serious ...

A traumatic brain injury , or concussion, happens when a bump, blow, jolt, or other head injury causes damage to the brain. Every year, millions of people in the U.S. suffer brain injuries. More than half are bad enough that people must go to the hospital, and the worst injuries can lead to permanent brain damage or death.

Rarity: Common

Top Symptoms: dizziness, irritability, depressed mood, difficulty concentrating, trouble sleeping

Symptoms that always occur with concussion not needing imaging: head or face injury

Symptoms that never occur with concussion not needing imaging: recent fall from 6 feet or higher, severe vomiting, posttraumatic amnesia over 30 minutes, slurred speech, fainting, moderate vomiting

Urgency: Primary care doctor

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Throbbing Pain On One Or Both Sides Of The Head

Pulsating pain is a classic sign of migraines. The throbbing is often felt on one side of the head.

In an online survey of patients with migraines, the National Headache Foundation found that 50% “always” have throbbing on one side, while 34% say they “frequently” have this symptom.

Migraine pain often burrows behind the eye.

People will blame it on eye strain and many will get their eyes checked, but that won’t make their headaches any better, Dr. Messina says.

Other Types Of Headaches

It’s not always easy to tell the difference between migraine and another type of headache. Here are how symptoms of two common types of headaches may differ from migraine:

Tension headache. People with migraine can get this kind, too. But the pain often feels different than that of migraine. It’s usually more like a dull ache. Your forehead or sides and back of your head may feel tight. Migraine pain often throbs or pulses and is more intense. A tension headache may not get worse when you move. And it doesnât usually cause stomach problems or affect your vision like a migraine can.

Sinus headache. With a sinus headache, you often have a stuffy nose and feel pain or pressure in your face or forehead. Migraine can cause the same symptoms. But migraine causes throbbing pain, while sinus headache pain is a constant dull pain. Some people with a sinus headache may also have a fever, trouble smelling, or bad breath. Migraine doesn’t cause these symptoms.

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Recognizing Headaches With Dangerous Causes

One clue that a headache is a sign of something serious is when its significantly worse than the headaches you usually get. Another clue is when the headache is accompanied by other symptoms that are new to you.

When the headache is the worst headache of your life, or when it is accompanied by fever, neck stiffness, weakness or numbness on one side of the body, difficulty speaking, loss of consciousness, confusion, loss of vision, or any other neurological symptom, its serious, says Alexander Mauskop, MD, the founder and director of the New York Headache Center and a professor of neurology at the State University of New York Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn.

If in doubt, be safe rather than sorry and call 911 or go to the emergency room, Dr. Mauskop says.

More serious headache causes include the following:

Tips For Managing And Preventing Visual Migraines

Is it an Emergency?

If your visual migraine occurs frequently, here are some tips to help you prevent or manage the condition.

  • Acupressure. This is an evidence-based practice of applying pressure with hands to specific points on the body to relieve pain and other symptoms. It can be an effective alternative therapy for migraine headaches.
  • Lavender oil. Lavender oil can be inhaled or applied diluted to the temples to ease your migraine pain.
  • Peppermint oil. According to a 2010 study, the menthol in peppermint oil can minimize migraines.6 The research showed that applying menthol to the forehead and temples relieved migraine-related pain, nausea, and light sensitivity.
  • Yoga. Yoga uses breathing, meditation, and body postures to promote health and well-being, relieving the frequency, duration, and intensity of migraines.
  • Massage therapy. Massage reduces stress and enhances coping skills. It also lowers heart rate, anxiety, and cortisol levels.
  • Herbal supplements. Butterbur and feverfew are common herbal remedies that may aid with migraine pain and frequency reduction.
  • Avoid Triggers. Ocular migraine triggers such as caffeinated foods, alcohol, dehydration, smoking, or stress
  • Unwind at the end of the day. Basic things like listening to soothing music or taking a warm bath after a long day can help your body relax and prevent migraines.

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How To Know If A Migraine Is Something More Serious And When To Seek Care

How to Know if a Migraine is Something More Serious and When to Seek Care

No one likes dealing with a headache. While most of them are nothing more than a nuisance, others can be much more debilitating. Migraines certainly fall into that category.

According to The Migraine Institute, an estimated 35 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches each year. Although they happen more frequently in women, anyone can develop a migraine.

Due to the intense pain, light sensitivity, and nausea that usually accompany a migraine, many people are unable to go about their daily routine.

While a regular migraine is bad enough, severe headaches can also be a sign of something more serious. Understanding when to seek care for a migraine and the signs that it could be a more serious condition could be lifesaving.

Since June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, there is no better time to brush up on your migraine knowledge.

What Symptoms Do Migraines Cause?

Unlike some conditions, the symptoms of a migraine headache arent easy to generalize. Thats because everyone that experiences them has slightly different symptoms.

Moreover, symptoms of a migraine often change over time. Classical migraine headaches consist of four main stages, which can last for a few hours up to several days. These four stages are prodrome, aura, headache or attack, and postdrome.

  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Blurred vision
  • Fatigue
  • Fatigue
  • Difficulty focusing

What Causes Migraines?

What About Migraine Symptoms In Children

Kids who have migraines tend to have similar symptoms to adults, though their attacks dont last as long as adults and they may not have headaches. The other signs include:

  • Stomach pain

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • Sensitivity to smells, sounds, lights and touch

  • Mood changes

If your child is having bad headaches and you suffer from migraines, then make an appointment with a headache specialist if possible. The doctor will take a thorough medical history so try to keep a record of your childs symptoms.

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Headaches Are Interfering With Your Daily Life

If you have headaches that are landing you in bed all day or otherwise making you unable to perform your normal daily activities, its time to see a doctor. You may be experiencing migraines, or the headaches could be a symptom of another underlying issue such as the ones listed above. Only a doctor can assess the cause, so get help as soon as possible.


What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers

15 Signs Your Headache Could Be Something More Serious ...

Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .

Common migraine risk factors include the following:

  • Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
  • Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
  • Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.

Common migraine triggers include the following:

  • Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
  • Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
  • Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
  • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
  • Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
  • Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.

Foods that may trigger migraines:

  • aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
  • aged cheese
  • soy sauce

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Do I Have Symptoms Of Migraines

Migraines are no joke90% of migraine patients cant go about their normal routine, more than 25% miss at least one day of work a month, and one in three need to lie down until the attack ends. The signs of a migraine include:

  • Moderate or severe pain that gets worse when you do any kind of physical activity

  • A throbbing or pulsating headache, usually on one side of the head for about 60% of migraine sufferers about 15% of those always get the pain on the same side of their head

  • A sensitivity to noise or bright lights and sometimes to smell and touch

  • Nausea or vomiting

  • A stiff or painful neck, either before, during, or after an attack

  • Exhaustion

To review, aura symptoms include:

  • Changes to your visionyou either lose it gradually or you see things like flashing lights or bright spots

  • Feeling numb or weak on one side

  • Tingling in an arm or leg

  • Trouble speaking or getting your words out

  • Hearing noises

If you have an aura, the warning signs that a migraine is coming on can be strikingly similar to the type of stroke known as transient ischemic attack . But there is a difference. A TIA is over fairly quickly, while auras are longer . But if youve just had an aura for the first time that was either very short or longer than an hour and your vision was obscured, call your provider or go to an urgent care clinic to get it checked out sooner rather than later.

Whats The Best Treatment For Migraines

There are two types of treatmentthe type that prevent attacks, or at least lower the number and intensity and treatments that you take during an attack . Even when you do take preventative medication, you usually have to have something on hand during an attack to decrease the pain. There are also complementary treatments that include lifestyle changes that help keep triggers at bay.

Since 2018, new migraine meds that target CGRP have come onto the market that have sharply reduced the number of headaches people have every monthby as much as 75% in about half these patients. But because not everyone can take drugs there are also non-drug devices that can prevent attacks or help during one.

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Migraine Can Induce Stroke

Several studies have found a link between thrombotic stroke and migraines with aura. People who have migraines with aura have about twice the risk of a stroke than other people. But this can be countered with a healthy lifestyle, nutritious diet and maintaining a healthy blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Ache After A Head Injury

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If you notice a headache several hours or even several days after hitting your head, it could be the first sign of dangerous bleeding inside your skull, known as a subdural hematoma, Mays says.

“It may have been a week ago since you fell, but you can get some delayed bleeding, especially if you’re on blood thinners, Mays says. Even if you’re not on blood thinners, any older adult who has had a recent fall and then gets a headache definitely needs to be evaluated right away. Doing so can be lifesaving.

Other signs of a hematoma are confusion, weakness and fainting. Symptoms typically worsen over time.

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You Have Numbness Or Slurred Speech

There are a some symptoms that, when combined with a severe headache, indicate the pain between your eyes or in the back of your head is potentially more dangerous. One possibility is a stroke.

Strokes are a reduction of blood flow to the brain, either due to a clot or bleeding in the brain. While strokes can cause a sudden severe headache, they also typically cause other symptoms like face drooping or numbness, weakness on one side of the body, slurred speech, and difficulty thinking.

If you suspect someone is having a stroke, you can ask them to smile to see if one side of their face is drooping. The American Stroke Association also recommends using the acronym FASTwhich stands for Face drooping, Arm weakness, Speech, and Time to call 911if you think someone is having a stroke. And time is of the essencethe faster the treatment with clot-dissolving drugs, the less likely someone is to have permanent brain damage, so strokes are considered a medical emergency.

Dr. Gupta explains that headaches are sometimes associated with difficulty speaking, slurred speech, difficulty thinking or understanding other people, difficulty moving your arms or legs, numbness or tingling in the body, vision changes, or face drooping. She says that if you notice any of those additional symptoms, its time to go to the emergency room, ASAP. Here are 13 surprising things that can trigger a headache.

Temple Tenderness Or Pain

If you are over age 50 and have a throbbing headache that’s concentrated in the temple area, you may have a condition called giant cell arteritis, or temporal arteritis, which means the blood vessels in your head are inflamed. Other symptoms include jaw pain or trouble chewing, tenderness of your scalp or temples, fatigue, flu-like symptoms or vision changes. The condition is more common in women than men.

A headache caused by giant cell arteritis may progressively worsen or it may go away and come back. Either way, it’s important to get it checked out quickly, says MaryAnn Mays, M.D., a neurologist at the Cleveland Clinic. It can cause a sudden loss of vision if you don’t catch it in time, she says.

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What Causes Migraines

Doctors dont know exactly what causes migraines. It appears that migraine headaches may be caused in part by changes in the level of a body chemical called serotonin. Serotonin plays many roles in the body, and it can have an effect on the blood vessels. When serotonin levels are high, blood vessels constrict . When serotonin levels fall, the blood vessels dilate . This swelling can cause pain or other problems. Another aspect that is being studied is that migraine headaches go along with a spreading pattern of electrical activity in the brain.

Some research suggests there could be a heredity factor for migraines, meaning they may run in families. Researchers have identified some genes associated with migraines. They are unsure, though, why these genes seem to impact some people more than others. The American Migraine Foundation reports that if one of your parents has migraines, there is a 50% chance that you will, too. If both of your parents have migraines, your chances jump up to 75%. Ultimately, migraines seem to be caused by a combination of factors: genetic, environmental, and lifestyle.

Women are more likely to have chronic migraines . This is likely linked to hormones. Hormones fluctuate each month around the time of your period. They can also fluctuate if you are pregnant or going through menopause.


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