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How To Know If You Have A Migraine Or Not

Can Stress Cause Migraines

Migraine : What you need to know

Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses ;not;major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.

Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Being active
  • Doing relaxation exercises
  • Getting enough sleep

Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.

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:

  • How often you have headaches
  • Where the pain is
  • How long the headaches last
  • When the headaches happen, such as during your period
  • Other symptoms, such as nausea or blind spots
  • Any family history of migraine
  • All the medicines that you are taking for all your medical problems, even the over-the-counter medicines
  • All the medicines you have taken in the past that you can recall and, if possible, the doses you took and any side effects you had
  • 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.

    How Do You Treat Migraine Aura

    Fortunately, most aura symptoms last for a short period of time. Triptans are not usually effective during the aura phase but some people find Aspirin can be helpful. It is important to avoid any activities that you feel may be dangerous whilst your senses are somewhat impaired.

    If the aura symptoms are frequent and disturb your life significantly, there are several preventive medications that can be used to reduce the frequency and the duration of the aura attacks.

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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.

    I’m Pregnant Can My Migraines Still Be Treated

    Do You Have A Headache Or A Migraine? Here

    Some migraine medicines should not be used when you are pregnant because they can cause birth defects and other problems. This includes over-the-counter medicines, such as aspirin and ibuprofen. Talk with your doctor if migraine is a problem while you are pregnant or if you are planning to become pregnant. Your doctor might suggest a medicine that will help you and that is safe during pregnancy. Home treatment methods, such as doing relaxation exercises and using cold packs, also might help ease your pain. The good news is that for most women migraines improve or stop from about the third month of the pregnancy.

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    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.

    Drive With Caution Or Not At All

    Common sense will tell you that if you have ocular migraine symptoms while driving, pull over and stop the car.

    Make sure you have a mobile or cell phone with you to call someone to come and get you.

    You can always get the car later. Or call a taxi so you can get home and rest. Resting for at least 15 minutes might help try lying down in the back seat and covering your eyes for complete darkness.

    Do not attempt to operate machinery or drive while experiencing an ocular migraine.

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    What Else Can I Do To Prevent Migraines

    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.

    Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain

    How to “fake” a Migraine

    In the throes of a migraine attack, the migraine sufferer tends to seek refuge in a dark, quiet place. Bright lights and loud noises can trigger a migraine or intensify the pain. The same is true of certain odors.

    “Once you’ve already got a migraine, smells can seem more intense and make it worse,” Dr. Calhoun says. “But a smell can also trigger a migraine in someone who didn’t have one before walked past the perfume counter.”

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    How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or Just A Bad Tension

    Compared with migraine, tension-type headache is generally less severe and rarely disabling. Compare your symptoms with those in this chart to see what type of headache you might be having.

    Migraine vs. bad tension-type headache

    Symptom
    Aura before onset of headache;x

    Note: Rebound headache may have features of tension and/or migraine headache. Adapted from a table produced by the American Council for Headache Education.

    Although fatigue and stress can bring on both tension and migraine headaches, migraines can be triggered by certain foods, changes in the body’s hormone levels, and even changes in the weather.

    There also are differences in how types of headaches respond to treatment with medicines. Although some over-the-counter drugs used to treat tension-type headaches sometimes help migraine headaches, the drugs used to treat migraine attacks do not work for tension-type headaches for most people.

    You can’t tell the difference between a migraine and a tension-type headache by how often they occur. Both can occur at irregular intervals. Also, in rare cases, both can occur daily or almost daily.

    How Are They Treated

    Both migraine and chronic migraine can be treated with the same drugs. These include medications that treat the pain and symptoms as well as drugs that treat the underlying cause of migraine. In some cases, there are medical devices you can use to interrupt the headache. Still, no treatment is perfect.

    Because of that, chronic migraines can take a toll on your personal life. If you get painful headaches for half of each month, you lose days of work or school and precious time with friends and family. Itâs common for people with chronic migraines to also have depression.

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    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.

    You Also Have A Stiff Neck Or High Fever

    How To Tell If You Have A Headache Or A Migraine

    If you have a headache and a fever, you may think its the flu. But add in the telltale symptom of a stiff neck, and you may have meningitis.

    The infection, which can be bacterial or viral, affects the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The swelling of these membranes is what can trigger a headache and stiff neck. You may also have nausea, vomiting or even seizures if you have meningitis. Although meningitis is hard to diagnose because it can mimic other infections, if you have a headache along with these other symptoms, its best to get checked by your doctor.

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    Other Ways To Alleviate Migraine Symptoms:

    Acupressure, which is thepractise of applying pressure to specific points on the body, similar to acupuncture without the needles, is known to relieve the headache as well as the nausea.

    Stay hydrated. Not drinking enough water is a; well known migraine trigger. Be sure to get in the habit of drinking water throughout the day. Whether you like it cold , room temperature, or hot, it is a habit that migraine sufferers must get into.

    Sleep, both lack of and too much can be triggers. Try to get 7-9 hours per night. With our busy lives and our constant stress, not to mention plain old insomnia, this can be tricky. Ashwagandha, bay leaf tea, melatonin, and several other natural supplements can aid in this endeavor.

    Either cold or hot compressesapplied to the aching head is soothing and many say it helps to reduce migraine pain.

    Apparently there are now eyeglasses you can purchase that are designed to filter pain triggering light due to their specially coated lenses. Radiyah Chowdhury found that putting them on immediately at the first twinges of migraine helped reduce the intensity of the pain.

    Nerve stimulation devices such as Cefaly work by sending electrical pulses to the part of the brain where the migraine starts. Wear it on your forehead daily for twenty minutes to prevent migraine, or during an attack to lessen the symptoms.

    Are Migraines Hereditary

    Migraines tend to run in families. As many as four out of five people with migraines have a family history. If one parent has a history of migraines, their child has a 50% chance of having them. If both parents have a history of migraines, the risk jumps to 75%. Again, up to 80% of people with migraines have a first-degree relative with the disease.

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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.

    Stroke Or Migraine How To Know The Difference

    Migraines: Not Just Another Headache

    Youre hit suddenly with a blinding headache. Maybe youve had migraines before and this feels like another one. Or maybe youve never had a migraine but imagine this is what one must feel like. You might be right, but what if youre not? Just like stomach pain and chest pain, a bad headache can indicate a number of conditions that have similar or overlapping symptoms. Since both stroke and migraine are common neurovascular disorders with many neurological and physical similarities, your throbbing head could be a migraine mimicking a stroke or a stroke disguised as a migraine. So which it is: stroke or migraine? Knowing the difference could save your life.

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    Stroke Or Migraine The Migraine

    Migraine is the most common neurological disorder, affecting 10% to 15% of adults in the U.S. According to a study published in the Journal of Stroke, people who suffer from migraine headaches have increased risks for a variety of vascular diseases, including ischemic stroke and hemorrhagic stroke.

    TheNational Headache Foundation reported that people who have migraine with aura are more than twice as likely to have an ischemic stroke as people who have migraine without aura. In addition to a severe headache, it is these aura symptoms that can mimic some of the signs of a stroke or transient ischemic stroke .

    What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers

    Some things make you more likely to get migraine headaches . Other things may bring on a migraine .

    Common migraine risk factors include the following:

    • Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
    • Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
    • Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.

    Common migraine triggers include the following:

    • Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
    • Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
    • Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work, but your body can also be stressed if you exercise too much or dont get enough sleep.
    • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
    • Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
    • Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.

    Foods that may trigger migraines:

    • aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
    • aged cheese
    • soy sauce

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    What Are The Symptoms

    Migraine symptoms happen in certain stages, though you might not have them all.

    Prodrome

    A day or two before you get a migraine, you might notice:

    • Hearing sounds that arenât there
    • Movements you canât control

    Attack

    This is the headache itself. Most of the time:

    • Itâs usually a severe throbbing or pulsing pain.
    • It affects one side of your head or one eye.
    • It can last from 4 to 72 hours.
    • Youâre extra-sensitive to light; so much so that you may need to retreat to a darkened room.
    • Youâre also sensitive to smells, sounds, and touch.
    • You might feel sick to your stomach or throw up.
    • You could get lightheaded or faint.
    • Your vision might get blurry.

    Postdrome

    This is the last phase. It usually lasts about 24 hours after the headache ends. You might feel:

    • Elated

    Migraine Symptoms: Sneaky Signs Before Your Head Hurts

    How to Know If It

    The intense, throbbing pain, sensitivity to light and sound, and occasional nausea and vomiting are telltale signs of a migraine. But for someone going through their first experience with the torturous headaches, migraines are often not so easily pinpointed.

    That’s because early symptoms can occur as long as 24 hours before any head pain, leaving a migraine sufferer confused and often frightened that something is horribly wrong, says Dawn C. Buse, Ph.D., associate professor of neurology at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University and the director of behavioral medicine at Montefiore Headache Center. Something significant is certainly occurring, but many are often relieved to find out it’s “just” a migraine. “While it’s disturbing, it’s not dangerous,” says Buse.

    In an attempt to help soothe any future fears — and maybe dispel some of the very real stigma facing migraine sufferers — here are some of the most common signs it’s a migraine — before your head even hurts.

    The Prodrome Stage Migraines typically consist of four stages, although each individual migraine sufferer may not experience all four. Prodrome is the very first, and can start anywhere from 12 to 24 hours before you notice any head pain, says Buse. About 60 percent of migraine sufferers experience the symptoms related with this stage, she says, which include:

    • Spots or flashes of light
    • Vision loss
    • Confusion

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    Are Migraine Headaches More Common In Women Than Men

    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.

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