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How Do You Know If You Have A Migraine Headache

Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men

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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.

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.

The Headache Or Main Attack Stage

This stage involves moderate to severe head pain. The headache is typically throbbing and is made worse by movement. It is usually on one side of the head, especially at the start of an attack. However, you can get pain on both sides, or all over the head.

Nausea and vomiting can happen at this stage, and you may feel sensitive to light, sound, smell and movement. Painkillers work best when taken early in this stage.

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Signs You’re Having A Stress Headache

You’re burning the candle at both ends, working as hard as you can and now this…another headache. You wonder, “Is it a migraine?; Am I getting sick or is the tension is just getting to me?”; How do you know when you’re having a stress headache? You don’t need an x-ray, lab test or special testing to diagnose a stress headache.; Just read the signs.

Stress headaches are the most common kind of headaches adults experience.; Millions of people get stress headaches as often as 15 times in a month; any more than that and they’re called “chronic” headaches.; Most, however, only get stress headaches once-in-a-while. They might last a half hour or less, or they might go on for hours.; While there’s no singular cause for stress headaches, they often occur when the body is literally “under stress” like when you’re tired, worried, hungry, over-stimulated, working too hard or just fed up.;

You know you’re having a stress headache when:

1. You have no other visual, auditory or other sensory symptoms.; Migraine headaches often start with a telltale “aura.”; That’s a sign you’re about to have a migraine. Migraine headaches are also often accompanied by nausea.;

2. You aren’t oversensitive to light or sound.; Bright lights and loud noises may not exactly help your headache, but they don’t make it a lot worse either.; Migraine sufferers are usually extremely light and sound sensitive. Stress headaches only cause mild light and sound sensitivity

What Is A Migraine Attack And How Do You Manage It

How To Tell If You Have A Headache Or A Migraine

Migraine is the leading cause of disability in people aged 15 to 49, yet this brain disease is often misunderstood and misdiagnosed. Heres what you need to know.

I was a teenager when I had my first migraine attack. I was sitting in my sunny living room and I started to see spots. Bright and iridescent, they gradually morphed into a swirling pattern that spread across the left side of my vision. I couldnt see past it, and I had no idea what was happening to me.

The episode soon passed, but it was followed by a throbbing headache. My mom instantly recognized the signs of migrainesomething she was all too familiar with.

Over the years, I had the odd migraine attack, but nothing I couldnt manage with a nap and some ibuprofen. But after I had kids, my attacks increased, and I developed some concerningand confusingsymptoms.

I became painfully sensitive to noise and had bouts of tinnitus , but ear exams showed nothing. I had dizzy spells and thought my thyroid medication needed adjusting, but my bloodwork was normal. I was often exhausted, but I blamed it on parenting. Ditto for my anxiety and depression, which were at an all-time high.

Then I started getting pins and needles in the side of my face, along with tingling in my arm, tightness in my chest, and heart palpitations. After two visits to the ER and a full cardiology workup, I was assured that my heart was healthy. I was relieved, but mystified. What was going on with me?

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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.

Stages Of A Migraine Attack

It is often difficult to know when a migraine attack is going to happen. However, you can often tell the pattern of each attack as there are;well defined stages.

It is these stages and their symptoms that distinguish a migraine from a headache.

However, not everyone will experience all of the symptoms of each stage and the stages can overlap. In adults, we can divide a migraine attack into four or five stages that lead on from each other.

Learning to recognise the different stages of a migraine attack can be useful. You might get one, all, or a combination of these stages, and the combination of stages may vary from attack to attack. Each stage can vary in how long and how bad it is. Recognising different symptoms at different times during your attack can give your doctor information which may help them make a diagnosis. Taking medication as soon as you notice the pain may stop or shorten an attack.

Migraine attacks in children are often much shorter than in an adult. It may be easier to tell the different headache stages in a child.

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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.

Migraines Can Last Hours To Days

How Do You Know If You Have Cluster Headaches?

One major difference between a common headache and a migraine is the length of time they last. While a typical headache can last an hour to a few hours, a migraine usually lasts between four to 72 hours, if left untreated. Migraines typically occur in 4-5 stages:

  • Warning stage
  • Aura and other visual disturbances
  • Headache stage
  • Recovery stage

Note, not everyone will go through these stages, it is unique to each individual.

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What To Know Before You See The Doctor

Some people think an occasional headache is nothing to worry about. But headaches can become a problem if:

  • You experience them frequently
  • They become severe
  • They are disrupting your everyday life

To help your doctor diagnose the source of your headaches, I find it useful when my patients keep track of how often theyre happening. This way, I can determine whether theres a pattern in triggers.

Seek immediate care for your headache if you experience:

  • A sudden, intense headache
  • Loss of consciousness or vision
  • Frequent vomiting
  • Pain for more than 72 hours with little to no relief

If youd like to speak with a Temple doctor about your headaches, schedule an appointment or call 800-TEMPLE-MED today.

Rescue Treatments For Quick Relief

Migraine rescue medications that have been used for years include a class of drugs called triptans, as well as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs .

Two newer classes of medications approved to treat acute migraine are gepants and ditans. Gepants are unique in that they are not associated with medication-overuse headache, a kind of headache that can occur when people overuse acute migraine medications, according to the American Migraine Foundation.

For cluster headaches, standard treatments include injectable triptans and high-flow oxygen, says Lipton.

Fast treatment is advisable for cluster headaches, Diamond says, because the pain is so severe. Injectables or nasal sprays work quicker than pills, the fastest treatment for a cluster headache is high-flow oxygen through a mask for about 10 minutes, she says.

Nerve blocks can also be used to treat cluster headaches, says Rajneesh. These in-office procedures, in which a numbing agent, or anesthetic, is injected into the scalp near particular nerves, can improve cluster headaches for a few weeks to a few months, he adds.

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How To Tell If You Have A Migraine

This article was medically reviewed by . Dr. Litza is a board certified Family Medicine Physician in Wisconsin. She is a practicing Physician and taught as a Clinical Professor for 13 years, after receiving her MD from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health in 1998.There are 11 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page.wikiHow marks an article as reader-approved once it receives enough positive feedback. In this case, 85% of readers who voted found the article helpful, earning it our reader-approved status. This article has been viewed 54,290 times.

People get headaches for all kinds of reasons. Migraine headaches, which can last from a few hours up to several days, are painful and difficult to get through. They affect about 12 percent of the population, and are three times more common in women than in men.XTrustworthy SourceMedlinePlusCollection of medical information sourced from the US National Library of MedicineGo to source Migraines can be treated with rest and proper care, but to first you’ll need to figure out if you are having one.

What Is A ‘migraine With Aura’

SEE: Do you have a headache or a migraine?

There are 2 types of migraine: migraine with aura, and without aura.

It might sound a bit paranormal, but migraine with aura is very real. Some people see flashing lights or a change in their vision; some having trouble speaking, and some feel ‘pins and needles’ in their arms and legs. This can happen before or during a migraine attack.

Even if you get auras, you may not experience one with every migraine. The aura itself usually lasts less than an hour. Scientists aren’t entirely sure why it happens.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine

The exact cause of migraine isnt known. Its believed that changes in levels of chemicals that are produced by the brain, such as serotonin, may affect how the nervous system regulates pain. Genetic and environmental factors may also play a role in causing migraine.

The symptoms of a migraine attack can include:

  • pain thats moderate to severe, often characterized as throbbing or pulsing
  • pain that typically impacts one side of your head, but can also affect both sides
  • sensitivity to lights and sounds
  • nausea and vomiting
  • pain that gets worse with physical activity

Additionally, migraine can also impact the area of your sinuses. When this happens, you may feel pain in your face or around your eyes.

An found that 45.8 percent of people with migraine had symptoms that impacted their nose and eyes, such as:

  • a runny nose

According to research, many people who have pain in the sinus region are actually experiencing migraine or another type of headache. Sinus headache is the most common incorrect diagnosis given to someone who really has migraine.

An found that 88 percent of participants with a history of sinus headache actually met the clinical criteria for migraine.

So, how do you know if youre experiencing sinus pain or migraine?

When trying to tell the two conditions apart, there are a couple of important things to consider, including symptoms and timing.

Stroke And Migraine With Aura Overlapping Symptoms

  • Visual changes
  • Stroke: Sudden trouble seeing in one or both eyes
  • Migraine with aura: Flashing lights; spots or zigzag lines; temporary, partial loss of vision
  • Speech changes
  • Stroke: Sudden confusion, trouble speaking or understanding speech
  • Migraine with aura: Speech difficulties and disturbances, confusion
  • Physical changes
  • Stroke: Sudden numbness or weakness of face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; sudden trouble walking, dizziness, loss obalance or coordination
  • Migraine with aura: Weakness in arm or leg; numbness or tingling in the face or hands; lightheadedness
  • As you can see, it can be very difficult to tell whether someones having a stroke or migraine with aura because the symptoms can be nearly identical. As if to complicate matters even more, people who suffer from seizure disorders can also experience aura symptoms. This is why its so important to have any of these symptoms checked out by a medical professional, especially in the case of a stroke where time is brain.

    Recognizing a stroke is key, according to Albert Yoo, MD, a neurologist at;Medical City Plano. Dr. Yoo says that because treatment is time dependent, every minute that passes without medical care means more brain cells are dying.

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    Difference Between Headache And Migraine

    Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but the truth is, they are very different. They may both result in head pain but how they manifest symptoms and how they are treated will vary.

    A headache is pain that causes pressure and aching. They usually come on slowly but some can hit out of nowhere. Pain ranges from mild to severe, usually occurring on both sides of your head, with common areas including the forehead, temples, and back of the neck, according to Healthline. They can last anywhere from a half hour to several days, with the most common type being a tension headache, triggered by stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.

    A migraine is a type of headache that is intense or severe, with other symptoms present in addition to head pain, such as:

    • Nausea and vomiting
    • Pain behind one eye or ear
    • Pain in the temples
    • Sensitivity to light and sound
    • Seeing flashing lights or spots
    • Aura

    Sometimes migraines are so severe that people seek out care at an emergency room. Unlike headaches, migraines usually affect just one side of the head. And while you may be able to take part in activities or go to work with a headache, a migraine causes such intense pain, throbbing, and associated symptoms that it is extremely difficult or impossible to perform daily tasks. Often times, the only way to relieve a migraine is to take medication, then lie down in a dark room in silence until it passes.

    Headache And Migraine Signs You Need To Be Aware Of

    What is Migraine? And Other Frequently Asked Questions

    Headaches and migraines plague more than 38 million people, with some studies suggesting that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. have periodic migraines and two to three million people suffer from chronic migraines. June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, a good a time as any to discuss the signs you should be aware of, particularly if you have a loved one in hospice. Thats because many chronic and terminal illnesses and diseases are punctuated by severe headaches and migraines. Even the medication San Francisco hospice patients are put on can contribute to them. This year for 2018s Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, the theme is You Are Not Alone. Indeed. The more we know about these debilitating conditions, the stronger we can be.

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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 ;;;

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