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HomeExclusiveCan You Have A Migraine For A Week

Can You Have A Migraine For A Week

How Long Will My Migraine Attack Last

I’m 24 weeks pregnant and have had a bad headache for a week. Why?

The duration of a migraine attack usually depends on what type of migraine you have and how you treat your symptoms. These tips can help to shorten it.

An estimated 39 million Americans have migraine, with symptoms that can range from mild to severe, according to the Migraine Research Foundation. Migraine attacks previously were thought to be a result of abnormal dilation of blood vessels in the brain, but scientists now believe that the cause may be more complex and involve inherited differences in brain chemistry.

Women are much more likely than men to have migraine, as are people with a family history of migraine, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.

But not all migraine attacks are alike, and not everyone has the same migraine symptoms, says neurologist Alexander Mauskop, MD, a founder and director of the New York Headache Center in Manhattan and White Plains, New York.

The length of time a migraine attack lasts can vary, too. The National Headache Foundation says most migraine attacks last 4 to 72 hours. But some people have migraines for a shorter time and some people have them for longer its very individual, Dr. Mauskop says.

Tension Headache Vs Migraines

Migraines and tension headaches are considered the main form of headaches. These headaches are the primary problem and arent caused by other problems such as dehydration.

Migraines normally stay on one side of the head, usually near the temple or in the front. They can, unfortunately, last for days. The pain is caused by brain blood vessels, so migraines can cause a pounding feeling.

Sensitivity to light is common with migraines, along with certain triggers from smells and food.

Tension headaches can feel like a tightness or pressure. You dont have to worry about a smell intolerance with tension headaches. The feeling is often found on both sides of the head.

They can be caused by musculoskeletal pain spreading into the head from the jaw and neck.

When To See A Doctor

If you have any type of headaches consistently, its important to speak with your primary care physician so they can help create a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist.

“If your headaches are increasing in frequency or severity, or are interfering with your usual activities, see a doctor,” says Dr. Andiman.

Seek immediate medical attention if youre experiencing the worst headache youve ever had, lose vision or consciousness, have uncontrollable vomiting, or if your headache lasts more than 72 hours with less than 4 hours pain-free.

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Coeliac Disease And Gluten Sensitivity

Coeliac disease is a serious condition where a persons immune system reacts when they eat gluten and causes damage to the lining of their gut. When this happens, they have symptoms such as diarrhoea, bloating, vomiting and stomach cramps. There can also be serious complications if it is not treated, such as anaemia. There is no cure for coeliac disease and people with it need to avoid gluten all their life.

There have been studies into the link between coeliac disease and migraine. There is no evidence to suggest that coeliac disease causes migraine. It is thought that if people with coeliac disease and migraine follow a gluten-free diet, this may help with both of their conditions.

Gluten sensitivity is when a person has a bad reaction if they eat gluten. They may have similar symptoms to coeliac disease, but there is no damage to the lining of their gut or the risk of serious complications that can happen with coeliac disease.

Gluten is found in foods that contain wheat, barley or rye. These include pasta, bread, cakes, some sauces and most ready meals.

One of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity is headache. But there is no evidence that gluten sensitivity causes migraine. However, if you are sensitive to gluten, you may find that if you eat food containing gluten, it makes migraine attacks more likely or the symptoms more painful.

You Also Have A Stiff Neck Or High Fever

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If you have a headache and a fever, you may think its the flu. But add in the telltale symptom of a stiff neck, and you may have meningitis.

The infection, which can be bacterial or viral, affects the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The swelling of these membranes is what can trigger a headache and stiff neck. You may also have nausea, vomiting or even seizures if you have meningitis. Although meningitis is hard to diagnose because it can mimic other infections, if you have a headache along with these other symptoms, its best to get checked by your doctor.

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Are There Different Types Of Migraine

There are different types of migraine. There is an international classification system for migraine which doctors use to diagnose and treat them.

The most common types of migraine fall into two categories:

Migraine with aura also covers some rare types of migraine such as hemiplegic migraine and migraine with brainstem aura.

Not everyone will have a typical migraine. Your experience of migraine will be unique to you.

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?

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Symptoms Of A Migraine

Migraines can vary from person to person and even from attack to attack. There are a wide range of migraine symptoms, but the most common include:

  • Head pain, often over one eye or on one or both sides
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Ear pain
  • Coughing

To further compound the confusion between these two conditions, even treatment options are similar. Many people are very surprised to discover that sinus medications and treatments relieve their migraine pain. Dr. Ailani explains:

Migraine can improve when using products like Sudafed or Advil cold/sinus. These medications work to reduce some of the chemicals that are elevated during a migraine, so dont be fooled into thinking that if you feel better with Sudafed, it is a sinus issue. Overuse of these medications can lead to more headaches, so if you find yourself using these medications more than 2-3 days a week, seek medical attention for an appropriate diagnosis.

A diagnosis of either a migraine or a sinus headache is the first step in finding treatment that works.

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

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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.

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    Migraine Vs Sinus Headache

    It isnt always easy to tell the difference between a migraine and a headache, much less a sinus headache, but each condition does have its own set of specific symptoms. While some are shared, others are very distinct to the condition. This creates a strong case for keeping a migraine diary and documenting the details of and surrounding your headaches.

    According to Dr. Ailani, the symptoms of migraine and sinus headache are similar because of the region of the brain that is activated during an attack:

    Migraine can also have associated symptoms, symptoms that come WITH the headache pain that can be confused for a sinus or allergy problem. You can have a runny nose, watery eyes, your eyes can turn red. These symptoms, called autonomic symptoms, come on because of the area in the brain, the hypothalamus, that gets turned on during migraine.

    Following this section are common symptoms for migraines as well as sinus migraine, sinus headaches and sinusitis. As you can see, many of them are identical or nearly identical. Its no wonder that patients struggle to describe their head pain and doctors struggle to diagnose it. The problem is, without a proper diagnosis you cant get proper treatment. If you are diagnosed with sinus headaches but you actually have migraines, it could delay your migraine treatment for years.

    Allergy Sinusitis And Sinus Headache Resources

    There are a number of very good resources available for people suffering from allergies, sinusitis, and sinus headaches:

  • Al-Hashel, J. Y., Ahmed, S. F., Alroughani, R., & Goadsby, P. J. . Migraine misdiagnosis as a sinusitis, a delay that can last for many years. Retrieved from
  • Bono, F., Messina, D., Giliberto, C., Cristiano, D., Broussard, G., Fera, F., . . . Quattrone, A. . Bilateral transverse sinus stenosis predicts IIH without papilledema in patients with migraine. Retrieved from
  • Cady, R. K., & Schreiber, C. P. . Sinus headache or migraine? Retrieved from
  • Chronic sinusitis. . Retrieved from
  • C. . Sinus Headaches. Retrieved from
  • December 62:752-754, J. F., & Author: Christopher Boisselle, MD Richard Guthmann, MD, MPH Kathy Cable, MLS. . What clinical clues differentiate migraine from sinus headaches? Retrieved from
  • ENT Health. . Sinus Headaches.
  • Migraine Symptoms. . Retrieved from
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    When Should I See My Doctor

    Headaches are common and most people will experience at least one in their lifetime. They are usually mild, but you should see your doctor if your headaches occur frequently and they prevent you from doing the things you can normally do. You should also go to see your doctor if you frequently take pain medicine for headaches.

    In some cases, headaches can be a symptom of something more serious. If you experience any of the following symptoms, see your doctor as soon as possible:

    • thunderclap headache a severe headache that comes on suddenly
    • a headache that gets progressively worse over the course of several weeks
    • a morning headache with nausea that doesnt go away
    • a headache with fever, change in personality, neck stiffness, double vision, ringing in the ears, loss of balance or loss of sensation
    • a new headache for patients with cancer, immunodeficiency, or anyone with a family history of glaucoma
    • aura symptoms that last longer than an hour, include muscle weakness, are different than usual or occur for the first time when you take an oral contraceptive pill

    In many of these cases, your family doctor may decide to refer you to a specialist.

    I Have Frequent Headaches Am I Normal

    How To Get Rid Of Headache Or Migraine In 2 Minutes Or ...

    Headaches can often stop you from going about your day because of the pain it can cause. But as painful as they can be, Dr. Kirtly Parker Jones says headaches are commonif they occur less than twice a weekly. If your headaches are coming in more than twice a week, that is not normal. Learn what might be triggering your headaches and how to prevent them from happening in the first place.

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    So it’s unilateral, one-sided, throbbing often, sometimes with nausea and photophobia. And for about 15% of people with classic migraine they have aura, a visual disturbance. And the headache usually lasts anywhere for a couple of hours to a day, not longer than a day, usually. How long does yours last?

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    Now, I asked what your triggers were. Triggers are things that you say, I think that I am . . . This is happening when I have my headache.”

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    When To Worry About A Headache: 7 Most Serious Symptoms

    Headaches are common, but sometimes serious warning signs. Here’s how you’ll KNOW when to worry about a headache.

    When to Worry About a Headache: 7 Most Serious Symptoms

    Headaches are common, but sometimes serious warning signs. Here’s how you’ll KNOW when to worry about a headache.

    Headaches are often treated like taxes or bad weather: a minor annoyance that we just have to put up with.

    Thankfully, most headaches aren’t serious. But what do you do when you have one that is particularly painful or continues to interrupt your daily life?

    There are more than 150 different kinds of headaches. It can be difficult to know if what you’re experiencing is normal or a warning sign that something more serious is going on.

    Read on to learn more about when to worry about a headache.

    Recurring Headaches

    Chronic headaches are defined as headaches that occur 15 days or more a month for longer than three months. They can disrupt your daily life and be difficult to manage without medical advice.

    Seek medical care if you are regularly having two or more headaches a week and the symptoms are interfering with your daily activities. There are many possible underlying causes. These range from simple tension headaches to serious problems with the brain.

    Your doctor will be able to determine the most likely cause and the best course of treatment. They will help you identify your headache triggers and make changes in your daily routine to reduce your symptoms.

    Persistent Headaches

    Intense Pain

    Can Migraine Be Worse During Menopause

    If your migraine headaches are closely linked to your menstrual cycle, menopause may make them less severe. As you get older, the nausea and vomiting may decrease as well. About two-thirds of women with migraines report that their symptoms improve with menopause.

    But for some women, menopause worsens migraine or triggers them to start. It is not clear why this happens. Menopausal hormone therapy, which is prescribed for some women during menopause, may be linked to migraines during this time. In general, though, the worsening of migraine symptoms goes away once menopause is complete.

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    You Have A Chronic Disease

    Headache is a common side effect of many chronic health conditions like fibromyalgia, lupus, and diabetes. However, constant headaches would typically accompany other symptoms. For instance, lupus features headaches alongside symptoms like fatigue, joint pain, and skin lesions that get worse when exposed to the sun, according to Mayo Clinic.

    Fix it: If you have chronic headaches, it’s always worth talking to your doctor if anything feels off with your body to figure out if an underlying condition could be causing your issues. Even if youre unsure and think it may be something minor, dont delay seeking medical attention. Be your own health advocate.

    How Are Serious Headaches Treated

    Migraine | Migraine Relief Treatment

    If you have headache symptoms to worry about, your doctor may order different tests and have you see a neurologist. A neurologist is a nervous system and brain specialist.

    Some common tests are:

    • Physical exam
    • Spinal fluid test

    If youre suffering from heatstroke or dehydration, your doctor might need to give you treatment through an IV.

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    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

    How To Shorten Your Migraine Attack

    If you recognize the signs that a migraine attack may be coming on, you may be able to reduce the amount of time it lasts, says Spears. Often the person with migraine doesnt always recognize the prodrome phase, but someone close to them a spouse or family member may pick up on it, he says.

    Spears offers a few tips to potentially reduce the length of your migraine attack:

    • Aggressively hydrate. Drinking a lot of water is usually helpful.
    • Limit your physical activity. If possible, sit or lie down somewhere.
    • Avoid stimulating environments. Go to a dark, quiet place.

    Some people find that relaxation techniques, such as meditation or massage, will help release the tension they feel in their face, jaw, or neck. If you can release tension with these techniques, your migraine attack may not be as severe or last as long. Others find that putting a cold compress on their temples will help relieve their migraine symptoms and keep their migraine from lasting as long, Mauskop says.

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