What Is An Aura
An aura is a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that usually act like warning signals that a migraine headache is about to begin. Commonly misinterpreted as a seizure or stroke, it typically happens before the headache pain, but can sometimes appear during or even after. An aura can last from 10 to 60 minutes. About 15% to 20% of people who experience migraines have auras.
Aura symptoms are reversible, meaning that they can be stopped/healed. An aura produces symptoms that may include:
- Seeing bright flashing dots, sparkles, or lights.
- Blind spots in your vision.
- Numb or tingling skin.
Recovery Or Postdrome Stage
This is the final stage of an attack, and it can take hours or days for a drained, fatigued or hangover type feeling to disappear. Symptoms can be similar to those of the first stage . Often, they mirror these symptoms. For example, if you lost your appetite at the beginning of the attack, you might be very hungry now. If you were tired, you might feel full of energy.
Being aware of the different stages of the migraine attack can be helpful. It can help you prepare for an attack, get a diagnosis and decide when to take acute treatment, such as painkillers or adapt your activities.
It is useful to have a rescue treatment plan for when attacks occur. This may include painkillers such as a triptan, a NSAID or paracetamol. It often also includes anti-sickness medication.
For other people, being aware of the stages and symptoms of a migraine attack can help their understanding. It may also help with the frustration and lack of understanding people often face around migraine, especially at work and in education.
What Are The Preventive Treatments For Migraine
Many patients with isolated visual migraines, without severe headaches, have relatively infrequent episodes that do not require specific preventive treatments. If a patient is aware of the particular triggers that seem to bring on an episode, then those triggers can be avoided.
In patients where the pattern of migraines includes frequent, severe headaches, it is very reasonable to consider additional preventive treatments. The main goal for any of these strategies is to reduce the overall frequency and severity of the headaches. None of the preventive treatments is a magic bullet that is 100% effective. For example, it would be considered successful if a preventive treatment helped reduce the number of severe headaches from 8 per month to 2-4 per month.
There are numerous medications that can be used as a preventive treatment for migraine. One medication that is used commonly, particularly because it has no side effects, is vitamin B2 . Approximately 100mg of riboflavin daily is thought to improve migraine headaches . One common side effect of riboflavin is that the urine turns bright yellow. Other herbal medications used to reduce migraine headaches include petasites and feverfew.
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Why Does Beer Give Me A Headache
Drinking beer is an enjoyable experience, especially when you spend time in the company of your best friends. The problem arises the next morning when you probably have only one question in your mind Why does beer give me a headache?
Experts in the UK estimate that alcohol-induced headache problem affects only one man of the 10.8 million adults drinking at a worrying level. It sounds like a negligible percentage, but it can be huge if it is about you. Keep in mind that it may strike anyone regarding the age, gender, and background. The next question is What to do? Lets see.
What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain
Over-the-counter medications are effective for some people with mild to moderate migraines. The main ingredients in pain relieving medications are ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen and caffeine.
Three over-the-counter products approved by the Food and Drug Administration for migraine headaches are:
- Excedrin® Migraine.
- Advil® Migraine.
- Motrin® Migraine Pain.
Be cautious when taking over-the-counter pain relieving medications. Sometimes overusing them can cause analgesic-rebound headaches or a dependency problem. If you’re taking any over-the-counter pain medications more than two to three times a week, report that to your healthcare provider. They may suggest prescription medications that may be more effective.
Prescription drugs for migraine headaches include:
Triptan class of drugs :
- Co-enzyme Q10.
Drugs to relieve migraine pain come in a variety of formulations including pills, tablets, injections, suppositories and nasal sprays. You and your healthcare provider will discuss the specific medication, combination of medications and formulations to best meet your unique headache pain.
Drugs to relieve nausea are also prescribed, if needed.
All medications should be used under the direction of a headache specialist or healthcare provider familiar with migraine therapy. As with any medication, it’s important to carefully follow the label instructions and your healthcare providers advice.
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What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine
There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.
New Daily Persistent Headache
If you suddenly get frequent headaches, you may have NDPH. The symptoms of NDPH can mimic tension headaches or migraines, but NDPH occurs in people who dont have a history of headaches. Often, people with NDPH can remember exactly when the onset happened. Your doctor may need to run tests to make sure these headaches arent secondary that is, a symptom of a serious underlying condition.
Although daily headaches might not be the result of a dangerous problem, they can affect your quality of life and shouldnt be considered normal.
Progressive symptoms of more severe or frequent headaches, or any headache that is also associated with other neurological symptoms, should be evaluated by a physician, says Jonathan J. Russin, MD, a neurosurgeon at Keck Medicine of USC and assistant professor of clinical neurological surgery at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Even using these criteria, the majority of headaches will not represent an underlying problem. An exception is a thunderclap headache, which refers to the sudden onset of the worst headache of your life. This type of headache should always be evaluated by a physician whether it is associated with other symptoms or not.
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Food Alcohol Bright Light Or Stress Could Play A Part In Your Headaches Identifying Triggers May Help You Avoid Them
When a bad headache strikes, you just want it to end. The aching, throbbing pain can be debilitating and result in missed appointments, work, or time with family and friends.
Regardless of whether you are prone to migraines, tension headaches, or cluster headaches , you may be able to reduce their frequency by identifying what brings them on. Here’s a look at the most common triggers for each of these kinds of headaches.
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Why Do I Always Have A Headache 3 Causes To Consider
By | Submitted On October 31, 2010
If you always have a headache, something is obviously wrong as you’re well aware. There are three main causes that will make you always have a headache if they are not addressed properly. There are numerous causes that you need to consider, if the 3 listed causes below don’t resonate with you then you may want to look deeper into various medical conditions & nutritional deficiencies that may be causing your headache problems.
Everyone is exposed to stress everyday it is not in the stress that you are exposed to but instead in how you handle the stress. If you do not live a well balanced life that allows time for exercise and wind down time than you are likely to always have a headache. Stress causes the muscles in your neck to tense which causes a headache.
Even if you feel like you are drinking enough fluids you may not be, your headaches may be stemming from not drinking enough water. A good idea to see if you are dehydrated by drinking plenty of water once the headache starts, if the symptoms are relieved from drinking water than you may be dehydrated.
Your diet may not contain the nutrients that you need or you may have a food allergy or sensitivity that you are not aware of. An unbalanced diet or a diet that contains too many sugars may be the cause of your always have a headache state.
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What’s The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine
A tension-type headache, the most common type of headache, causes pain on both sides of the head. It’s a tight pressure rather than a throbbing, and you might also have soreness in your temples, neck and shoulder muscles. Headache pain isn’t usually considered ‘severe’.
Migraine, on the other hand, has many symptoms including headache. This can feel like a throbbing pain that might be worse on one side of your head. You can also feel pain around your eyes, temples, face, jaw or neck. The pain may increase with physical activity, which is why it helps to lie down.
But the key difference between a headache and migraine? Migraines can be distressing and debilitating and can affect your whole body. People can feel vaguely unwell for a day or two before a migraine headache comes on . Once it has started, a migraine headache can last for between 4 hours and several days.
“Migraine is a chronic disorder of the brain with recurrent severe attacks… other common features are nausea or even vomiting,” explains Assistant Professor of Neurology Yulia Orlova on The Conversation. “Many people have sensitivity to light, odours or sounds and are unable to carry on daily activity.”
Migraine is ranked the sixth most disabling disease in the world. Global Burden of Disease
Can Migraines Be Prevented Or Avoided
Medicine to prevent migraines may be helpful if your headaches happen more than 2 times a month. You may want to consider this medicine if your headaches make it hard for you to work and function. These medicines are taken every day, whether you have a headache or not.
Preventive medications for migraines can include prescription drugs often used to treat other ailments. Anti-seizure medicines, antidepressants, medicines to lower blood pressure, and even Botox injections are some of the preventive medications your doctor may prescribe. Calcitonin gene-related peptide inhibitors can also help prevent migraines. They do so by blocking a gene-related peptide in your sensory nerves. This peptide is known to increase during a migraine attack, so blocking it can help prevent migraines.
There are also a number of non-medical treatments designed to help minimize migraine pain and frequency. One is an electrical stimulation device, which has been approved by the FDA. It is a headband that you wear once a day for 20 minutes to stimulate the nerve linked to migraines. Another non-medical treatment is counseling aimed at helping you feel in more control of your migraines. This counseling works best when paired with medical prevention of migraines, as well.
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Treatments For Silent Migraine
It can be a little trickier to treat silent migraine, if only because theres no pain symptom that can be handled with an OTC pain reliever. Other than that, however, treatment of silent migraine isnt much different than it isfor traditional migraine .
First up is sensory deprivation: lying in a dark, quiet room can work wonders for soothing the sensory overload that may have triggered your migraine in the first place. If you can keep liquids down, be sure to hydrate since dehydration can worsen your symptoms.
You can also try alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, massage, and vitamin supplementation. Magnesium, for example, has been classified by theAmerican Migraine Foundation as a supplement that is probably effective and generally considered safe for most people to use as a preventive treatment.
Finally, Dr. Segil says there are two pharmaceutical approaches to treating migraine: daily medications, which are taken to prevent episodes, and rescue medications, which are taken to relieve symptoms during an episode. Typically, doctors recommend using a daily medication if you have 14 or more migraine days per month. If you do not need daily preventive medication, then you can use rescue medication with symptoms.
While both of these types of medications can be used to address silent migraine in most cases, Dr. Segil warns that hemiplegic migraine is often handled differently because of its stroke-like symptoms.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension
Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.
|Aura before onset of headache||x|
Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.
Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.
There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.
You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.
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Lack of sleep ruins everything. It can expand your waistline, make you crave junk food, hurt your memory, and make you cranky . But it turns out that chronic insomnia can also cause chronic headaches. “Unrested muscles can cause tension headaches and insomnia releases stress hormones, both of which trigger headaches,” Mikhael says.
Here’s the Diet Coke paradox: A little caffeine can cure a headachethat’s why it’s a main ingredient in Excedrinbut too much caffeine can trigger a headache. And the line is very individual. Mikhael recommends taking caffeine out completely and seeing if your headaches go away. If not, try using it only in small doses.
Watch a hot doc explain how to treat a headache without drugs:
Gender A Risk Factor In Migraine And Cluster Headaches
More women have migraine than men, says Diamond, and more men have cluster headaches than women.
About 3 out of 4 people with migraine are women, according to the Migraine Research Foundation.
Cluster headache is one of the rare exceptions where men are more affected than women. The ratio is pretty high its about 4 to 1, men to women, says Rajneesh.
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You’re Trying Too Many Headache Remedies
Mixing, matching and overusing headache treatments can potentially backfire. “Sometimes, the thing youre taking for headache starts working against you,” Dr. Hutchinson says. Overdoing it on painkillers can actually make the pain worseand the caffeine in some headache medications can cause withdrawal headaches, compounding the effects. Overuse of any pain medication to treat headaches can cause what’s called a rebound headache.
Fix it: If you’ve been taking a lot of OTC medications, try stopping for a day or drastically limiting your intake. “If you’re able to then have a day without a headache and dont need to take anything, then you can say youre out of the rebound,” says Dr. Hutchinson.
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 headache 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.
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How Are Migraines Diagnosed
To diagnose a migraine, your healthcare provider will get a thorough medical history, not just your history of headaches but your familys, too. Also, they’ll want to establish a history of your migraine-related symptoms, likely asking you to:
- Describe your headache symptoms. How severe are they?
- Remember when you get them. During your period, for example?
- Describe the type and location of your pain. Is the pain pounding? Pulsing? Throbbing?
- Remember if anything makes your headache better or worse.
- Tell how often you get migraine headaches.
- Talk about the activities, foods, stressors or the situations that may have brought on the migraine.
- Discuss what medications you take to relieve the pain and how often you take them.
- Tell how you felt before, during and after the headache.
- Remember if anyone in your family gets migraine headaches.
Your healthcare provider may also order blood tests and imaging tests to make sure there are no other causes for your headache. An electroencephalogram may be ordered to rule out seizures.