Social Eventseven Important Onescan Be Interrupted
One reason people with migraine might be more prone to anxiety and depression? Migraines can make it impossible to attend life events, even important ones.
Feighan has missed dozens of events due to her migraines, from weddings to family get-togethers. “Ive had to leave places early or abruptly, she says. In all of those instances and in many more, Ive found myself curled up into a ball in the front seat of a car, or laying across the back seat, with my hands over my eyes, trying to sleep off the pain.
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?
Migraines Are Accompanied By Visual Disturbances
One of the key indicators of a migraine is the additional symptoms besides the debilitating pain, like visual disturbances also known as auras.
“Migraines can come with a variety of other symptoms including aura, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual distortions,” said Dr. Khorsandi. Dr. Williams further detailed the auras as “troubles including blurriness, bright/flashing dots, wavy or jagged lines.” I am plagued by auras before the migraine arrives. It’s the disturbance in the force, the calm before the storm, and serves a warning so I can attempt to deal with what’s to come.
Sally Morgan, a holistic physical therapist and certified craniosacral therapist who also suffered from migraines, reminded me of another side effect of migraines that we don’t think of often bumps and bruises. She said, “Visual acuity lessens during migraine attacks and people report walking into a wall or knocking things over accidentally during a headache.” Been there, done that.
You May Like: Migraine Causes Fever
Migraine Without Head Pain
Also called a Silent or Acephalgic Migraine, this type of migraine can be very alarming as you experience dizzying aura and other visual disturbances, nausea, and other phases of migraine, but no head pain. It can be triggered by any of a persons regular triggers, and those who get them are likely to experience other types of migraine, too. The International Headache Society classifies this type as typical aura without headache.
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.
Read Also: Migraine Headache Medications List
What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines
Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.
Pop A Riboflavin Supplement
According to Robert Cowan, MD, clinical professor of neurology at Stanford School of Medicine, in interview with Prevention, riboflavin has been shown to reduce onset of migraines. He recommends consuming 400mg daily of riboflavin for migraine victims. He also says that eating foods high in the nutrient, such as milk, meat, eggs, nuts and leafy greens, can also provide benefits.
If you notice a migraine approaching, there’s no need to just sit back and let it take over your day. By taking note of these precautionary measures, as well as the triggers that can create a migraine from setting in, you’ll be better able to keep yourself safe and avoid a migraine from worsening with time.
Also Check: Fast Feeling In Head Diagnosis
What Tests Are Used To Find Out If I Have Migraine
If you think you get migraine headaches, talk with your doctor. Before your appointment, write down:
Your doctor may also do an exam and ask more questions about your health history. This could include past head injury and sinus or dental problems. Your doctor may be able to diagnose migraine just from the information you provide.
You may get a blood test or other tests, such as CT scan or MRI, if your doctor thinks that something else is causing your headaches. Work with your doctor to decide on the best tests for you.
The Migraineurs Perspective On What A Migraine Feels Like
In 2016, Axon Optics created a scholarship. We asked college students to write a short essay or record a video to tell us about their migraine story and describe what a migraine feels like.
Stories came in from across the country that demonstrated the difficulty of living with migraine while attending college. It also showed the resiliency of these young adults battling through the condition in order to gain an education.
You May Like: Migraines And Fever
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.
Headaches Are Usually Relegated To The Head
Dr. Williams acknowledged that basic headaches are noxious, telling me, “A headache is an unpleasant sensation in any region of the head or upper neck. It may appear as a dull ache, a throbbing feeling or a sharp pain, and intensities of the pain vary with whatever is causing it,” he said. “Though most people associate a headache with pain in the brain, the actual pain felt is stemming from the tissues that surround the brain. A headache can be brief lasting less than an hour or linger for several days.”
But here’s the essential takeaway regular headache pain is localized. There aren’t additional symptoms in other parts of the body, as is the case with migraines.
You May Like: Piercing That Prevents Headaches
Migraines Are Accompanied By Nausea
Wade Cooper, a doctor of osteopathic medicine and director of Michigan Medicine’s Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, told me it’s most likely a migraine if it’s “severe, or has a throbbing sensation, along with light and sound sensitivity or nausea.”
But Dr. Williams details the assortment of stomach issues associated with migraines, including “loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or an unsettled stomach.” Clearly, migraines have way more additional symptoms and physical disruptions.
How Do I Get Rid Of A Migraine While Pregnant
Here are some tips to help you manage migraines during pregnancy: Avoid your known triggers, such as specific foods, as much as possible. Keep a predictable schedule of meals and snacks. Drink plenty of water. Get plenty of rest. Consider taking a class in biofeedback or other relaxation techniques.
Also Check: Confusional Migraine Symptoms
Migraine Pain Increases With Duration
Unlike a typical headache in which the pain gradually decreases as time goes on, migraine pain increases during its duration.
“Migraine patients often describe the pain as throbbing and deep and can get worse as they try to go about their daily lives,” said Dr. Khorsandi. “The cause of migraine is unknown, but ‘triggers’ such as food and fragrances can make them appear. They often last for several hours or days and require prescribed medication to relieve symptoms.”
Migraines Come With Heightened Sensitivities
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of regular headaches, let’s go over what migraines are and what sets them apart.
“A migraine is clinically defined as a specific type of headache that is felt more intensely, and usually has accompanying symptoms in addition to the pain felt in the head,” Dr. Williams explained. He lists common migraine symptoms as “pounding or throbbing pain that is moderate to severe and feels as if it is engulfing the entire head or shifting from one side of the head to the other,” as well as heightened sensitivities to sound, odors, or light.
That’s why migraines often have me lying in a dark, quiet room it’s an effort to quell my super acute senses.
Don’t Miss: How To Get A Migraine
How Do You Know If You’re Having A Migraine Or A Headache
Blog post | 11 Mar 2019
Headaches are, unfortunately, a part of life. They can be triggered by many things, from hot dogs and ice cream to swimming goggles. Nine out of 10 people have had a headache.
While they are are less common, it’s estimated that almost 5 million Australians experience migraines. Due to hormonal factors, migraines are believed to affect more women than men, and migraines typically run in families.
The Doctors Perspective On What A Migraine Feels Like
Just about everybody has experienced a headache at some point in their life, but a migraine is different because of the additional symptoms. So, what does a migraine feel like? Here is how a doctor explains it.
Ive seen countless migraine patients in my clinic, said Dr. Bradley Katz, a neuro-ophthalmologist and researcher at the University of Utah. A migraine attack is already a very bad headache and the associated neurologic symptoms that accompany an attack really make it so much worse than just a tension type headache.
Symptoms may include light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, feeling ill or physically sick, irritable, and it makes it hard to focus and hard to think.
Its these other associated neurologic symptoms that go along with the headache that make it such an awful disease with which to contend.
So, what does a migraine feel like? These representations certainly help us understand. Thank you to all those who submitted.
Read Also: Naproxen For Migraine Dosage
What Medicines Help Relieve Migraine Pain
For mild to moderate migraines, over-the-counter medicines that may help relieve migraine pain include:
- an acetaminophen, aspirin, and caffeine combination
People who have more severe migraines may need to try abortive prescription medicines. A medicine called ergotamine can be effective alone or combined with other medicines. Dihydroergotamine is related to ergotamine and can be helpful. Other prescription medicines for migraines include sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, naratriptan, rizatriptan, almotriptan, eletriptan, and frovatriptan.
If the pain wont go away, stronger pain medicine may be needed, such as a narcotic, or medicines that contain a barbiturate . These medicines can be habit-forming and should be used cautiously. Your doctor may prescribe these only if they are needed and only for a short period of time.
It Can Be So Distracting And Painful That It’s Almost Impossible To Think Or Carry On A Conversation Amanda 27
I’ve always had frequent headaches, but the migraines started around age 22. The first symptom I feel is a severe, piercing pain right between my eyebrows or sometimes what feels like behind my eye sockets. It can be so distracting and painful that it’s almost impossible to think or carry on a conversation. Then, my sensitivity to light and smell become increasingly worse, which sometimes will lead to nausea. Often, my migraines seem to come out of nowhere and advance very quickly.
One distinct memory I have is getting a migraine right before a date. At the time, I was in my apartment finishing getting ready when all of a sudden I keeled over and had a piercing pain in my forehead. I had to turn off all the lights and lay down on my side, practicing slow breathing to try to relieve the pain. I had to cancel the date less than an hour before we were supposed to meet, which was definitely embarrassing, and I lied there on my bed for hours.
Recommended Reading: Va Benefits For Migraines
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.
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.
You May Like: Metoclopramide Migraine
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.
Physical Activity Doesn’t Necessarily Make It Better
Exercise may help ease the pain of some types of headaches because it relieves tension and can boost pain-relieving endorphins. But that’s not true for people experiencing a migraine. The nausea alone can make rapid movement impossible, and sensory stimuli can be unbearable. Most often, the only way to deal with an attack is to retreat to a dark, cool room that is as quiet as possible.
As a preventive measure, though, regular exercise and a healthy diet may be lifestyle factors that may help reduce the risk of attacks overall.
Also Check: Can Breastfeeding Moms Take Excedrin