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How Long Does A Severe Migraine Last

What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

How long should a migraine last?

While there are no sure ways to keep from having migraine headaches, here are some things that may help:

Eat regularly and do not skip meals.

  • Keep a regular sleep schedule.
  • Exercise regularly. Aerobic exercise can help reduce tension as well as keep your weight in check. Obesity can contribute to migraines.
  • Keep a migraine journal to help you learn what triggers your migraines and what treatments are most helpful.

Unexplained Or General Headaches

For unexplained, ongoing headaches, you may be able to manage or ease your symptoms at home through comfort measures, rest, and responsible use of medication.

Massage therapy can ease muscle tension that contributes to headaches, or you can perform self-massage techniques at home.

Managing your stress can help reduce your pain. Also consider reducing the intensity of your exercise schedule or focusing on your form while exercising.

If your headache continues to persist, see your doctor. You may have an underlying condition that they can diagnose. With proper treatment, youll be able to address your persistent headache pain and return to your normal quality of life.

You may be able to prevent persistent headaches before they begin by taking a few steps every day. These include:

  • drinking plenty of water to avoid dehydration
  • exercising regularly
  • getting needed support for your mental health
  • seeking hormonal support, particularly if youre premenopausal or experiencing menopause
  • reducing stress

Does The Duration Of Pain Vary By Types Of Migraine Like Migraine With Aura Or Vestibular Migraine

Attacks of vestibular migraine are fairly long in duration in terms of the vestibular symptoms, but the headache component of it varies from person to person. One of the confusing things about this particular type of migraine is that the headache component may actually be minor compared to other symptoms.

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How To Prevent Migraine Attacks

The causes of migraine arent clear, but it may have a hereditary link. Environmental factors can also play a role, and some people have identifiable triggers that can cause migraine attacks. Some common triggers include stress, certain foods, alcohol, dehydration, changes in sleep, changes in weather, hormone fluctuations , light or smell.

While trigger avoidance may seem like a way for people to take matters into their own hands, many experience spontaneous attacks, which means there is nothing specific that caused them. Lifestyle changes that eliminate or reduce these triggers, such as consistent and adequate nutrition, hydration, exercise, sleep and stress management, can help decrease the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

How Is Migraine Aura Diagnosed

How Long Can a Migraine Last? (Because It Feels Like ...

To rule out more serious conditions, such as a transient ischemic attack or mini stroke, your healthcare provider will perform a physical examination. They may also run certain tests to confirm your diagnosis. These tests may include:

  • An eye exam. This test helps rule out any eye conditions that could be causing aura symptoms.
  • A CT scan of your head. This scan takes detailed images of your brain.
  • Magnetic resonance imaging . This test uses magnets and radio waves to capture images of your tissues, organs and structures inside of your body.

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How Long Does Vertigo Last

Your vertigo can last just a few seconds, few minutes, hours, or even days. However, in average an episode of vertigo lasts just seconds to minutes. In this post we discuss some of the common conditions causing it and how long vertigo can last for each, along with some other useful information.

Vertigo episodes may come and go and cause sudden, severe episodes of disorientation. They can also be incredibly mild, or be chronic and last for longer periods of time.

There are other conditions and injuries that may cause episodes of vertigo. The length of your vertigo episode will depend on what that underlying cause is.

The most common causes like BPPV and migraines last for a maximum of two days, with an average of a few hours. Vertigo can be very difficult to deal with, so consider medical help if you canĂ¢t handle it on your own.

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.

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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.

How To Find Relief

How Long Does A Migraine Last

There isnt one right way to treat a migraine. If your migraines are infrequent, you may be able to use over-the-counter medications to treat symptoms as they occur.

If your symptoms are chronic or severe, OTC treatments may not be helpful. Your doctor may be able to prescribe stronger medication to treat existing symptoms and help prevent future migraines.

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Phase : Migraine Postdrome

The final phase of a migraine attack is the postdrome, when many people feel drained, exhausted, or hungover. However, some people feel euphoria or a heightened feeling of well-being. The postdrome phase can last from 1 to 2 days. Other postdrome symptoms include depression, and trouble concentrating or understanding.1,4

Phase : Migraine Prodrome

The prodrome is the first phase of a migraine attack, and it can begin 24 to 48 hours before other phases. It is sometimes called pre-headache or the premonitory phase. Nearly 8 out of 10 people with migraine have a prodrome phase. If you recognize the symptoms, prodrome can be a warning sign that an attack is coming. This gives you a chance to take drugs that can reduce the symptoms of a full migraine attack.1,2

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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?

What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider

How many days can a migraine last  Health Blog
  • Will my child grow out of their migraines?
  • What medications do you recommend for me?
  • What should I change about my lifestyle to prevent my migraine headaches?
  • Should I get tested?
  • What type of migraine do I have?
  • What can my friends and family do to help?
  • Are my migraines considered chronic?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

Migraine headaches can be devastating and make it impossible to go to work, school or experience other daily activities. Fortunately, there are some ways to possibly prevent a migraine and other ways to help you manage and endure the symptoms. Work with your healthcare provider to keep migraines from ruling your life.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/03/2021.

References

Recommended Reading: Preventing Migraine Auras

What To Expect After Symptoms Of Aura And Headache

Many migraine headaches gradually fade in intensity. Some people find that taking a 1- to 2-hour nap is enough to relieve their symptoms. Children may only need a few minutes rest to see results. This is known as the resolution phase.

As the headache begins to lift, you may experience the recovery phase. This can include a feeling of exhaustion or even of elation. You may also feel moody, dizzy, confused, or weak.

In many cases, your symptoms during the recovery phase will pair with symptoms you experienced during the warning phase. For example, if you lost your appetite during the warning phase you may now find that youre ravenous.

These symptoms may last for a day or two after your headache.

What Are The Side Effects

Acetaminophen and aspirin can sometimes cause severe skin and/or allergic reactions. Avoid taking this medication if you are allergic to either, and seek immediate medical attention if you develop skin blisters, rash, hives, facial swelling, or trouble breathing.

More common side effects, which typically go away once you stop taking the medication, include:

  • Diarrhea

  • Passing urine more often

  • Trouble sleeping

The amount of caffeine in Excedrin Migraine is similar to that of a cup of coffee, so youll want to moderate your intake while taking this medication since too much caffeine can cause nervousness, irritability, and trouble sleeping.

In addition, Excedrin Migraine contains an NSAID medication, which can cause stomach bleeding. Stop the medication and call your provider if you notice bloody or black stools or stomach pain that does not get better, or if you are vomiting blood or feeling faint. NSAIDs can also cause ringing in your ears or hearing loss. But this tends to be reversible once the medication is stopped.

The medication also contains acetaminophen, which can be harmful to your liver. It is best not to exceed the maximum daily dosage, take additional acetaminophen products, or consume 3 or more alcoholic beverages a day while taking this medication.

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How Do You Make A Menstrual Migraine Go Away

You may benefit from pain relievers like aspirin and naproxen, which are either beneficial in preventing menstrual migraines or relieving their severity. The pill usually has two puffs a day before and two puffs a day after your period begins. It usually lasts 2 to 3 days until the pills arrive. The tableted estradiol, the geled estradiol, or the patches estradiol pills, gel, or patch.

How Do You Know If Youre Having A Migraine Attack

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People with migraine often have different symptoms, as the presentation of migraine can vary from person to person. But if your head pain is moderate to severe, lasts several hours, causes a throbbing or pounding sensation, gets worse with physical movement and interferes with your life, work or school activities, you may be experiencing migraine. The head pain can be on one or both sides of your head, in the front or back. It can also be in or around your eyes or behind your cheeks.

Migraine can also cause nausea and/or vomiting and increase your sensitivity to light, smells and noise. Some people experience migraine with aura, a visual disturbance that typically occurs before the headache pain begins and resolves within an hour or less.

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When Should I Call An Ambulance

Most headaches are not serious. But headaches can also be a sign of a serious illness, such as a stroke or meningitis.

  • it comes on suddenly, is very severe, or has made you lose consciousness
  • you have suffered a head injury
  • you have trouble seeing, walking or speaking
  • your arms or legs feel numb
  • you have nausea or vomiting
  • you have a high fever
  • you are sensitive to light and have a new rash

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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Phase : Migraine Aura

Only about 1 out of 4 people with migraine have the second phase called aura. Aura refers to changes in the senses. Sight changes are by far the most common change. However, people with migraine also report changes to their sense of smell, hearing, and touch. Speech and movement may also be affected. Some people even have a combination of migraine auras during an attack.1

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine

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The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea and sometimes vomiting , and an increased sensitivity to light smells and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving.

Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration , and an increased need to pass urine. This can occur before, during or after the migraine attack.

People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea.

It is common for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.

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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.

If Theyre The Same Medication Why Can I Only Take 2 Tablets Of Excedrin Migraine But I Can Take 8 Tablets Of Excedrin Extra Strength

Combination pain relievers used to treat migraines, like Excedrin Migraine, can cause medication overuse headaches, also known as rebound headaches. If you frequently take a pain reliever for migraines and/or exceed the recommended daily dosage, you can get a medication overuse headache once the pain relief wears off, prompting you to take even more medication. Over time, this can lead to shorter periods of pain relief and recurrent chronic headaches. The dosage recommendation for Excedrin Migraine is to help prevent this from happening.

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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.

Concussions And Other Head Injuries

Treating Chronic Migraine: Remember the Fundamentals

If youve recently experienced a concussion or similar head injury, you could be dealing with an ongoing headache. This is called post-concussion syndrome, and its a mild injury to your brain caused by the initial trauma. It can last for months after a concussion possibly up to a year.

Symptoms of post-concussion syndrome include:

  • recurrent or ongoing headaches

A variety of treatment options, including home treatments and medical care, can help relieve symptoms of a prolonged headache.

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How Do I Stop Migraine Aura

Migraine aura treatment is focused on easing symptoms. Your healthcare provider may recommend a number of medications, including:

  • Pain relievers. Prescription or over-the-counter pain medications such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen or aspirin can alleviate migraine aura and associated pain.
  • Triptans. Sumatriptan and rizatriptan block pain pathways in the brain. These medications may be prescribed as pills, injections or nasal spray.
  • Dihydroergotamine nasal spray or dihydroergotamine injection. These medications can be taken at the onset of a migraine attack in an effort to lessen symptoms.
  • Opioids. These drugs may be recommended for people who cant take triptans or dihydroergotamines. Because opioids are highly addictive, this treatment should only be considered when all other options have failed.
  • Antinausea drugs. When migraine aura is accompanied by nausea and vomiting, medications like metoclopramide, chlorpromazine or prochlorperazine can ease these symptoms.
  • Magnesium. This supplement can break visual aura and reduce pain.

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