Headaches Related To Stress Or Mood Disorders
Work to reduce stress and promote relaxation in your environment. Self-massage or massage therapy may help ease the tension that causes ongoing headaches. You may also benefit from reducing stimuli and resting in a dark, quiet room.
Your doctor can help you address your stress, anxiety, or mood disorder through a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and medication.
Your doctor may prescribe antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications that can help relieve the tension and stress causing your prolonged headaches. Some medications for anxiety also work to reduce headache.
How Long Do Migraines Last
If you have ever experienced the pain of migraine, youre familiar with the signs of an attack coming on: intense pain, sensitivity to light or sound, and maybe a little nausea is the cherry on top. These warning signs let you know its coming, but you wonder, how long can a migraine last? When will you be able to resume your normal life?
A Prolonged Migraine Attack
Unfortunately, all of this good advice doesnt help you stop a prolonged attack in progress. If youve already exhausted all of your home treatments, and the attack is still going strong after 72 hours, you do need to call your doctor. In most cases he or she will recommend you go to the emergency room for evaluation and treatment. Most likely, the problem is status migrainosus which can be stopped in the ER or with a brief inpatient stay.
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Unusual Types Of Migraines With Aura
There are three other types of migraine with aura. These are all unique types of migraines and are different from the migraine with typical aura described above.
Migraine with brainstem aura
People with this condition have unique aura symptoms. This is because their migraine involves the brainstem . In addition to typical visual and sensory aura symptoms, people with migraine with brainstem aura can also have:
Some of these medications work best when taken early. For many people, the aura phase of a migraine attack is a good time to take action.
How Long Can A Migraine Last
When we talk about how long migraines can last, it could be said that the length of migraine generally varies. As per The National Headache Foundation, most migraines last around 4 hours to 72 hours. However, some of the individuals may have migraines for a shorter time and some may have them for longer.
The duration of migraine usually depends on what type of migraine one has and how one treats the symptoms of migraine.
- An optical migraine which causes visual disturbances like zigzags or blind spots, or blurred vision usually in one eye, and no headache pain would last for around one or two hours.
- Classic migraines which generally begin with a warning sign or aura and can be quite painful and may last for one or two days.
- Common migraines which do not have auras and when the pain in your head may be only on one side, may last at least 3-4 days.
It must be mentioned that when migraine duration is longer than 3-4 days then it is called status migrainous and it requires an emergency medical attention as it increases the risk of stroke.
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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.
How To Get Through A Migraine
This article was medically reviewed by Luba Lee, FNP-BC, MS. Luba Lee, FNP-BC is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner and educator in Tennessee with over a decade of clinical experience. Luba has certifications in Pediatric Advanced Life Support , Emergency Medicine, Advanced Cardiac Life Support , Team Building, and Critical Care Nursing. She received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Tennessee in 2006.There are 29 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 747,407 times.
Migraines can be extraordinarily debilitating both because of the pain and because they leave you unable to tolerate light, sound, smell, and touch. Migraines require much more intervention than common tension headaches. If you suffer from migraines, it is best to try to prevent your migraines. Since it is difficult to prevent migraines entirely, there are some steps that can help you get through your next one.
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When Should Rescue Treatments Be Used
One of the common failures in acute treatment of migraine is the lack of rescue treatments. A rescue treatment is different than the typical medicine you use to abort a migraine. Most often, patients are prescribed a triptan, NSAID, or ergot-derivative to abort a migraine attack. These are acute medications that can be used at the first sign of symptoms. When these treatments fail, it is appropriate to use a rescue treatment.
Causes Of Acute Headaches
- Viral Illnesses. Most acute headaches are part of a viral illness. Flu is a common example. These headaches may relate to the level of fever. Most often, they last a few days.
- Hunger Headaches. About 30% of people get a headache when they are hungry. It goes away within 30 minutes of eating something.
- MSG Headache. MSG is a flavor enhancer sometimes added to soups or other foods. In larger amounts, it can cause the sudden onset of a throbbing headache. Flushing of the face also occurs.
- Common Harmless Causes. Hard exercise, bright sunlight, blowing a wind instrument or gum chewing have been reported. So has severe coughing. “Ice cream headaches” are triggered by any icy food or drink. The worse pain is between the eyes .
- Head Injury. Most just cause a scalp injury. This leads to a painful spot on the scalp for a few days. Severe, deeper or entire-head pain needs to be seen.
- Frontal Sinus Infection. Can cause a headache on the forehead just above the eyebrow. Other symptoms are nasal congestion and postnasal drip. Rare before 10 years old. Reason: the frontal sinus is not yet formed. Other sinus infections cause face pain, not headaches.
- Meningitis . A bacterial infection of the membrane that covers the spinal cord and brain. The main symptoms are a stiff neck, headache, confusion and fever. Younger children are lethargic or so irritable that they can’t be consoled. If not treated early, child can suffer brain damage.
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What Is A Migraine Attack
Migraine is not just a bad headache. It is a neurological disease with different symptoms and treatment options than other headache disorders. A migraine attack includes debilitating head pain that interferes with your ability to function normally. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light, noise and smells.
How To Find Relief
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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What Questions Should I Ask My Healthcare Provider
- 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.
Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Migraine:
Relax at a Quiet and Dark Place and Perform Relaxation Techniques:
Sensitivity to sound and light is one of the most common symptoms of migraine. You need to get away from such things if possible, especially when you are having migraines. This would aid you in relieving migraine pain and can also alleviate stress.
Simply lie down and pay attention to your breathing. Go for slow and deep breaths from your diaphragm. Feel that your stomach rise as you inhale and fall as you exhale.
This can actually help you relax.
Deep breathing and relaxation exercises can help shorten and relieve migraine attacks. They also help in preventing migraines from happening. Some individuals find that relaxation techniques like meditation and massage also helps release the tension they feel in their neck, jaw or face. If you can release tension then your migraine wonât be as severe or long lasting.
Try Caffeine to Find Relief:
One more home remedy for migraine could be a cup of coffee. Many OTC pain relievers contain caffeine as it can enhance the effects of the medication. Just make very much sure that you do not drink too much. This is because drinking more than a cup of coffee could set you up for a caffeine withdrawal headache at a later time.
Individuals with migraines who use caffeine more than 3 days in a week may develop a dependency on the caffeine. This can in turn cause more headaches. So, moderation is the key with caffeine.
Avoid Diet That Would Trigger Migraines:
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Talking With The Er Doctor
You may want to talk with the ER doctor about:
- Your history of severe migraines and whether you have been to the ER for a severe migraine before
- Any medicines you have taken to treat a severe migraine in the past, how well they worked, and any side effects you experienced from them
- Which medicine might be best to treat your severe migraine
- The possible benefits and side effects of the medicine
Ask your doctor
How Is It Diagnosed
Your healthcare provider will ask about your symptoms and medical history and examine you. There are no lab tests or X-rays for diagnosing migraine headaches.
A careful history of your headaches is very helpful. Your healthcare provider may ask you to keep a headache diary in which you record the following:
- date and time of each attack
- how long the headache lasted
- type of pain
- location of pain
- any symptoms before the headache began
- foods and drinks you had before the headache began
- use of cigarettes, caffeine, alcohol, or carbonated drinks before the headache began
- time you went to bed and time you got up before the headache began
- if you are a woman, the dates of your menstrual periods and use of birth control pills or other female hormones
Depending on your headache symptoms and physical exam, your provider may recommend tests to check for other, more serious causes of your symptoms. For example, you may have a brain scan or magnetic resonance imaging .
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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider
- You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
- You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
- Your headache comes on suddenly.
- You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.
Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:
- The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
- Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.
What Is Status Migrainosus
This problem can happen to anyone with migraine. When our typical medicines stop working and migraine keeps going beyond the usual 4-72 hours, we may be experiencing a complication of migraine called status migrainosus.
In A Neurologists Guide to Status Migrainosus Therapy in the Emergency Room, Drs. Gelfand and Goadsby state, It must be stated at the outset that an ED visit for migraine represents a failure of appropriate outpatient management, and modifications in the patients rescue plan need to be made to avoid such visits in the future.1
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What Are The Different Types Of Migraine Aura
There are three main types of migraine auras:
When To Seek Medical Help
The American Migraine Foundation estimate that less than 50% of people with migraine seek help from a doctor.
If a migraine episode lasts for longer than is typical for an individual, they should seek a doctors advice.
They should visit the emergency room if a migraine episode becomes too severe and at-home treatments do not alleviate symptoms.
An individual should seek immediate medical attention if they have the following :
- an extremely severe headache
- a headache that starts abruptly like a thunderclap, especially if the individual is aged over 50 years
- a migraine headache accompanied with a stiff neck, or fever, confusion, slurred speech, or seizures
- speech, vision, movement, or balance problems that differ from the regular migraine pattern
Always seek medical attention if someone has a headache following a head injury.
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How Long Can A Migraine Last & How To Get Rid Of It
Migraines are so powerful headaches that often occur with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light. As per The National Headache Foundation, it is estimated that 28 million Americans get migraines and it is more in women than in men.
Read below to know about how long can a migraine last and also know about some of the ways to get rid of it.
Avoid Vestibular Migraine Triggers As Much As Possible
In the absence of a cure or fool-proof treatment strategy, the best treatment for vestibular migraine is to understand and avoid your triggers. Keeping track of your sleep, stress, diet, and migraine attacks in a migraine diary can help you pinpoint those triggers, as well as which of them seem to be the most prominent for your migraine.
Generally, triggers of vestibular migraine are very much the same as classic migraine triggers – including vertigo itself, according to a 2009 study published in the Journal of Neurology. Researchers used rotation to induce vertigo in participants of the study and compared the effects on a healthy control group against the effects on a test group made up of migraineurs. 49% of the test group experienced a migraine within the time window of the study, whereas only a single participant in the control group experienced a migraine.
These findings are important, because vertigo could trigger a potentially exacerbative cycle similar to stress and migraine . Aside from vertigo, these common vestibular migraine triggers are worth trying to avoid:
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What If A Migraine Attack Lasts 3 Days Or More
A debilitating migraine attack that lasts longer than 72 hours and doesnt respond to normal treatment is called status migrainosus, or intractable migraine.
It can be more medically serious than a normal migraine attack, especially if symptoms such as vomiting are prolonged, due to the risk for severe dehydration, according to the National Headache Foundation.
Status migrainosus is what brings many people to the hospital emergency department, where a variety of IV drugs may be administered to break the pain cycle.
What Is Migraine Aura And Who Should Care
Migraine headaches are painful recurring headaches that affect more than 37 million Americans. Migraines can be severe. They can get in the way of:
Migraines are most common in women and people between the ages of 15 and 55. Many people also have a family history of migraines. And about 30% of people with migraines also experience aura. This is called migraine with aura, or a classic migraine.
About 30% of people with migraines have auras.
For some people, migraine aura may be a sign that headache pain is on the way. This can cue them to take medication. But it isnt just a warning sign for headache: People who have migraine with aura may also be at risk for other health conditions. Examples include stroke, cardiovascular disease, and mental health conditions.
Part of learning to live with migraines is understanding your patterns. Knowing what a normal migraine attack feels like for you can help you manage your symptoms. Understanding your attacks can also help you be confident that a migraine is just that, a migraine, and to know when your symptoms might be something more serious.
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How Do You Know If Youre Having A Migraine Attack
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.