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How Can You Tell If You Have A Migraine

Where To Seek Help

Headache Treatments : How to Tell if You Have a Sinus Headache
  • Always see your doctor if you’re worried about migraines or headaches. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing any other sudden or unusual symptoms.
  • If you’re not sure whether you’re having a migraine, try the healthdirect Symptom Checker tool for advice on what to do next.
  • If you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor or go to hospital, you can call healthdirect for advice on 1800 022 222 .
  • To find a doctor or health service near you, use the healthdirect service finder.
  • Visit the Headache Australia website for information and support. There, you can also join Headache Australia’s national register to stay informed of any new treatments, developments and research into migraine and headache.

How Are Headaches Treated

Provided one of the serious conditions noted above is not present, relatively simple treatment options can be considered. To treat symptoms and prevent the frequency and severity of headaches, physicians may try to identify headache “triggers,” such as stress or certain foods, and recommend treatment options including:

  • preventive medications and treatments.
  • lifestyle changes, including stress management and relaxation techniques.
  • pain-relieving medication, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. Children and adolescents should avoid taking aspirin. In rare cases, aspirin can cause Reye Syndrome, a serious and potentially fatal condition.

If your headache is the result of an underlying medical condition or injury, your physician will discuss treatment options with you.

Famous People Who Have Migraine With Aura

Celebrities are not immune to the effects of Migraine with aura. A few notable Migraine with aura warriors include:

  • Famous author of Through the Looking Glass and Alices Adventures in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll was a well-known person with Migraine. In fact, the size distortions that Alice experiences down the rabbit hole are thought to be related to Migraine and are now called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome.
  • Artist Vincent van Gogh Art enthusiasts have speculated that the halos, swirling patterns, and colors of paintings like Starry Night and Trees in the Garden in Front of the Entrance to Saint-Paul Hospital are representations of van Goghs Migraine auras.
  • Artist George Seurat- Famous French post-Impressionist artist George Seurat, well known for the artistic technique pointillism, is said to have experienced Migraine with aura. Some medical researchers even refer to scotoma, or scintillating aura, in Migraine as the Seurat Effect.
  • Actress and Singer Kristin Chenoweth Migraine warrior, famed actress, and singer Kristin Chenoweth shares her experience with Migraine at the Migraine World Summit. She explains how knowing she wasnt alone was sometimes the best medicine for dealing with a condition that is largely invisible and often stigmatized.

Recommended Reading: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy

Can You Have Migraine Without Headache

Before I talk about my experience of vestibular migraine, it is important to answer the question can you have migraine without headache?. The answer is definitely yes, as head pain is only one of many symptoms of migraine. As the American Migraine Foundation describes, not all forms of migraine come with headache.

This June, for Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, many of us in the migraine community are sharing our experiences of living with this life-altering neurological disorder. Awareness is so important, and I wish I had known more about migraine from the outset. In particular, I wish I had known about vestibular migraine as a form without pain. This is my story as to why that would have been very helpful . . .

This post is written as part of the June chronic illness linkup party hosted by Sheryl of A Chronic Voice, with the prompts of accumulating, prioritising, harmonising, carving and training. Go check out the other entries too!

Also Check: How To Get Rid Of A Migraine While Pregnant

Whats A Migraine Journal

New therapies offer hope to migraine sufferers
  • 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?

Read Also: How Common Are Visual Migraines

Headache Accompanied By Nausea Vomiting Or Sensitivity To Light And Sound

These are common symptoms of migraine headaches. Migraines cause a throbbing sensation that usually occurs on just one side of the head.

Theyre one of the worldwide. They arent life-threatening, but they can severely impact your well-being.

If youre experiencing migraines, its important for you to find out if theres a cause. Migraines are most common in people 30 to 40 years old, according to The Migraine Trust. According to the Office on Womens Health, around of people affected by migraines are women.

Factors that can make a person more likely to experience chronic migraines include:

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.

Also Check: Which Condition Commonly Accompanies Migraine Headaches

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
  • What Medications Are Used To Relieve Migraine Pain

    How Do You Know If You Have Cluster Headaches?

    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 :

    • Sumatriptan.
    • Butterbur.
    • 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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    Are There Different Kinds Of Migraine

    Yes, there are many forms of migraine. The two forms seen most often are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.

    Migraine with aura . With a migraine with aura, a person might have these sensory symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before an attack:

    • Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots
    • Numbness or tingling in the face or hands
    • Disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch
    • Feeling mentally fuzzy

    Only one in five people who get migraine experience an aura. Women have this form of migraine less often than men.

    Migraine without aura . With this form of migraine, a person does not have an aura but has all the other features of an attack.

    Also Check: Whats The Piercing That Helps With Migraines

    Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

    In some women, pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

    The reason for these different responses is not well understood. For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

    Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

    Recommended Reading: Non Drowsy Headache Medicine

    The Difference Between A Migraine Attack And A Stroke

    Strokes are typically one-time events and symptoms. Migraine attacks can occur more often, even daily, and symptoms are not permanent. In addition to the rapid onset of stroke symptoms, face droop is a tell-tale sign that you may be having a stroke and not a Migraine attack.

    Most importantly, know your risk of stroke and talk to your doctor so no confusion is present if a stroke does occur.

    How To Know If You Have Migraine With Aura

    Migraine Types [How to Tell What Kind of Migraine You Have ...

    Medical Review by Headache Specialist Dr. Zubair Ahmed

    Ever experience strange smells that others dont detect? Symptoms of an aura arent always bizarre visual experiences reminiscent of a Van Gogh painting or an LSD trip.

    Its essential you know which of the 7 Types of Migraine you have by getting an accurate diagnosis. Effective treatment depends on the correct diagnosis that a headache specialist or qualified doc can provide.

    About 20% of people with Migraine have Migraine with aura . How do you know if youre one of them? Read on to find out.

    Also Check: List Of Prescription Drugs For Migraines

    Acute Drug Treatment To Stop A Migraine Attack

    There are several different medication options for treating a migraine attack once its begun. The type of migraine you have as well as the frequency and severity of your attacks is something you should discuss with your doctor when developing a treatment plan.

    For people with mild to moderate symptoms, over-the-counter medications are often sufficient to relieve them, according to the American Migraine Foundation. These include:

    Your doctor may also prescribe any of a number of drugs for acute treatment of migraine. Generally speaking, acute migraine treatments work better the earlier in the attack you take them, before the pain has gotten severe. Triptans are the most commonly used acute migraine medications, and gepants and ditans are two new classes of migraine drugs that may be helpful if you cant take triptans or are not helped by them.

    Eek How Can I Tell If Im Having A Migraine Or Just A Tension Or Sinus Headache

    Migraine headaches can cause various symptoms before, during, and after the attack. Not all people experience all symptoms, and your migraine may be entirely different than a friends.

    Symptoms can come on gradually or suddenly. Sometimes they start overnight, causing people to wake up with a migraine, but not always, the Mayo Clinic notes. Basically, every migraine headache is slightly different, and theres no cut and dry list of symptoms that pertain to everyone.

    All that said, there are a number of ways migraines differ from regular headaches. If you experience any of these symptoms, youre likely suffering from a migraine and not something that’ll go away by popping some Advil.

    Recommended Reading: How Common Are Visual Migraines

    Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

    Another, more rare symptom of Migraine with aura is a phenomenon called Alice in Wonderland Syndrome , named after Lewis Carrolls popular character.

    People with AIWS may feel as though they are larger or smaller in relation to their environment. Feelings of being out of proportion relative to other people or things is a telltale sign of this symptom.

    They Dont Give You A Headache

    What happens to your brain during a migraine – Marianne Schwarz
    • Rachel Paskin, 42, from Aldridge, suffers from silent migraines auras
    • Rarely has headache but bright, flashing line appears across her eyes

    19:24 EDT, 6 January 2014 | Updated:

    Rachel suffers from aura migraine, which causes her vision to partially disappear for about 20 minutes

    Rachel Paskin has suffered from migraines for almost 30 years but rarely has a headache. Instead, a bright, flashing line appears across her eyes, causing her vision to partly disappear.

    The 42-year-old has suffered up to five such attacks a day, severely affecting her work and ability to drive.

    What she experiences is known as a silent migraine a type of migraine that comes without the severe headache typically associated with the condition.

    Instead, those affected experience visual disturbance, co-ordination problems, and pins and needles .

    The first time it happened I was about 14 and thought I was having a stroke or going blind it was terrifying, says Rachel, a Birmingham City University administrator who lives with her husband Neil, 44, a heritage building restorer, in Aldridge, West Midlands.

    She saw an optician, who reassured her there was nothing wrong with her eyes, but after doing her own research she realised what was causing her symptoms.

    She put up with the silent migraines and realised she would feel OK again after they passed, usually after about 20 minutes although during that time she couldnt see properly and her co-ordination was compromised.

    Also Check: Excedrin Product Locator Tool

    How Long Will My Migraine Attack Last

    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.

    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.

    Read Also: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy

    > > > Eliminating Migraines And Headaches Forever

    Other symptoms of migraines are dizziness and slurred speech. You might also feel like you might pass out. You might also experience sensitivity to light and sound. If you start feeling these symptoms for the first time, then you should definitely go home and get some light and sound blockers to prevent them from happening.

    Many migraine sufferers also experience changes in vision. If you have these symptoms along with nausea or vomiting, then you definitely need to visit a doctor and get tested for glaucoma. Glaucoma is sometimes referred to as the little black book because it causes vision changes in the eye. These vision changes could be anywhere from halos and blind spots to tunnel vision.


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