What Symptoms Must You Have To Be Diagnosed With A Migraine
Migraine with aura . This is a headache, plus:
- Visual symptoms or vision loss.
- Sensory symptoms .
Migraine without aura . A common migraine is a headache and:
- The attacks included pain on one side of your head.
- Youve had at least five attacks, each lasting between four and 72 hours.
Plus, youve experienced at least one of the following:
- Nausea and/or vomiting.
- Lights bother you and/or you avoid light.
- Sounds bother you and/or you avoid sounds.
What Is A Migraine Aura
Migraine aura is considered a warning stage that sometimes occurs before the onset of a migraine headache. Migraine aura refers to any number of sensory disturbances, including dots, sparks or zigzags in your vision. Some people experience tinnitus, dizziness or even the inability to speak clearly.
This condition may occur prior to or during a migraine attack usually 30 to 60 minutes prior to the head pain. It’s important to note that migraine aura doesn’t happen during every migraine episode.
What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
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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.
Could My Migraine Attack Be A Symptom Of Covid
We are still learning about migraine and COVID-19, says Spears. We do know that the COVID-19 headache usually presents differently than a typical headache. Its been described as intense pressure in the head that is made significantly worse with coughing and sneezing, he says.
Is it true that people with migraine are more likely to experience headache as a symptom of COVID-19? There isnt enough data to know if thats the case with COVID-19, but it is true in many other conditions, says Spears.
If someone has migraine and they develop a sinus infection, theyre more likely to develop a migraine-like headache. When people with migraine have anything going on thats head- or neck-related, theyre more likely to experience a migraine-like headache, he says.
This also applies in people with migraine who also have diabetes or high blood pressure, says Spears. If something is going on in the entire body or systemically, theyre more likely to manifest that in migraine-like headache if they have a history of migraine, he says.
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Is Using Botox Better Than Reliance On Oral Medications
Botox is an excellent treatment option for patients for whom oral pain medication has previously been the only option. Botox injections are extremely localized and do not have many of the more serious implications as consistent reliance on pharmaceuticals. Botox injections are not associated with fatigue, dizziness, sedation, or addiction. If you have previous relied on prescription medications to manage your chronic neck pain, Botox may be the better answer to your pain management needs.
If you live in the Mesquite, Frisco and DeSoto, TX areas and are suffering with chronic neck pain, contact OmniSpine Pain Management today to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced pain specialists. We are proud to offer Botox injections as a safe and minimally invasive treatment option for people suffering from chronic neck pain or spasticity.
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How Many Injections Do You Need
Botox appointments are typically performed inside a doctors office for about 30 minutes. Patients dont need to prepare anything, but theyre often asked to avoid taking certain medications that might affect the migraine treatment a few days before the appointment.
The physician might apply a topical anesthetic on the skin to numb the area if the patient requests it. The Botox is injected using a small needle on different parts of the neck and head where the patient feels headache pain. The exact number of units injected varies per patient, but the average dosage is 155 units divided into 31 injections across 7 specific head and neck areas.
Each botulinum toxin injection feels like a slight pinch on the skin, but its tolerable for most patients. Theyre also allowed to return home immediately after the appointment, but they might need assistance from a friend or family member.
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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.
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.
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What Do I Do If My Migraine Lasts For More Than 72 Hours Or Wont Go Away
You should talk to your provider about a plan should your migraine extend past the 72-hour mark. You may need treatment for a condition called status migrainosus. We define this as a migraine that lasts more than 72 hours without a pain-free interval. Status migrainosus is often treated differently than shorter migraine attacks and may require you to receive different treatments.
If your pain is different, much more severe than usual and includes any red flag symptoms, get emergency treatment. If youre unsure, call your doctor or a health information line.
Migraine Causes & Risk Factors
Migraine can be caused by a number of different biological mechanisms and environmental factors. The biology behind migraine is complex and not fully understood. It involves the activation of trigeminovascular pathways and central parts of the brain including the brain stem . The trigeminovascular system controls sensation in your face and jaw which is why trigeminal disorders cause head pain. The brain is thought to be in an altered state of excitability, which can also lead to disruptive symptoms like nausea, light sensitivity and aura .
Neurotransmitters are chemical messengers that communicate between neurons. These play a very important role in brain function . When the brain is more sensitive, neurotransmitters can become overactive and trigger pain signals.
Neurotransmitters also control things like hunger, wakefulness, anxiety and focus. This causes many of the prodromal symptoms , and also causes nausea, photophobia, and phonophobia during an attack. The difficulty in migraine treatment arises because there are often many different neurotransmitters active during an attack. Some patients may be more responsive to treatment that addresses their serotonin neurotransmitters, while others might find treatment more effective if it inhibits calcitonin gene-related peptides .
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My Approach To Treatment
How I treat a patient with migraine depends on the person and what other conditions they have. For example, if someone also has severe anxiety, a couple of antidepressants are fabulous for anxiety and good for migraine, so I might try one of those. If they have a problem with sleep or muscle pain, other medicines help those conditions plus migraine.
For chronic migraine, the insurance companies generally require me to try two or three triptans before I can give a patient one of the newer medications. Only if the triptans don’t work or if they cause side effects can I switch them to one of the newer CGRP medicines or Botox.
I also look at behavioral and lifestyle changes. Are they getting enough exercise? How are they sleeping? Are they under stress? What could they change in their lifestyle to make things better? They don’t need to make enormous changes, just little ones to improve migraine slowly over time.
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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What Are The Four Stages Of Migraines
The various four stages of migraines include:
- Prodrome: Also known as the preheadache stage, it precedes a migraine attack. It can last for several hours or several days. During this phase, taking medication, practicing a stress-relieving technique, or avoiding trigger factors can prevent a migraine attack. Some of the common symptoms include:
- Changes in mood
Will Botox Work To Treat My Migraines
Individual results may vary, so theres no way to know for sure. But theres strong reason to believe that it might.
Multiple studies have shown that treating chronic migraines with Botox means fewer headache days each month when compared with placebo. It may take 10 to 14 days for the result of the Botox to start to take effect.
Some people dont respond to this type of treatment for migraine, and it typically takes two treatment cycles to figure out if youre one of them.
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How Long Is Too Long For A Migraine
Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room for head pain. So when should you go to the ER for migraine? According to the American Migraine Foundation, the best reason for an ER visit is for unusual symptoms that are new to you.
Not sure when you should go to an emergency department? You should go if you have:
The American Migraine Foundation reminds patients that there is not one universal protocol for treating headache or migraine in the ER. Different ER doctors may approach treatment in different ways. For the long-run you should follow up with your headache specialist to establish or tweak your treatment plan.
Can I Have A Visual Migraine Without A Headache
Definitely. It is actually very common to have a visual migraine without any headache. The medical term for this is acephalgic migraine, which literally means migraine symptoms without headache. Except for the absence of a headache, the visual symptoms in acephalgic migraine are identical to the episodes that accompany a classic migraine aura.
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Preventative Medication And Therapies
If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.
It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.
You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:
Beta blocking drugs
These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.
This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.
Botulinum toxin type A
Your Doctor And Your Migraine
If you are unsure about the cause or nature of your headache, need assistance in managing migraine, or if the pattern of your condition changes, it is important you consult a doctor. Sometimes, changes in the nature of your headache or migraine could signify the presence of a more dangerous neurological disorder.
Migraine has been recognised by the World Health Organisation as one of the most disabling chronic illnesses, so its important to recognise the impact it is having on your life and address it accordingly. To communicate the impact of migraine to your doctor a migraine diary is important. Ideally your migraine diary documents:
- When you experience migraine attacks
- The nature of the pain and accompanying symptoms
- Potential triggers
- Work days or social events missed due to migraine
All these factors will help your doctor understand the scope of your migraine, and help to recommend the best treatment for you.
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What Tests Are Done For People With Migraine Headaches
Most migraineurs have normal examination findings. The diagnosis of migraine headache is made solely on the symptoms a migraineur describes to the doctor.
Other possible causes of headaches include stroke, tension, meningitis , or sinus infections. The following tests and images may be performed or taken if the doctor thinks a person’s headaches are being caused by something other than migraines:
- Blood tests
Self-care at home
Most migraineurs can deal with mild-to-moderate migraine attacks at home. The following measures may help relieve migraine headache pain:
- Using a cold compress to the area of pain
- Resting with pillows comfortably supporting the head or neck
- Resting in a dark, quiet place
- Avoiding odors
- Drinking a moderate amount of caffeine
Taking certain over-the-counter headache remedies: Note that none of the following has been clearly shown to relieve migraine headache pain.
Despite advances, migraines can be difficult to treat. About half of migraineurs stop seeking medical care for their headaches because they are dissatisfied with treatment results. This is unfortunate because the right drug or combination of drugs may eventually be found if the migraineur keeps visiting his or her doctor for follow-up visits.
Migraines can be treated with 2 approaches: abortive and preventive.
What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline
The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.
The phases are:
It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.
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