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How To Tell If You Are Having A Migraine

There’s No Clear Cut Way To Know

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Unfortunately, the presentation of migraine is too varied for there to be hard guidelines for these scenarios. When researching the issue, then, what seems to be of most concern is that word different.

Are you experiencing an attack that came on at a different time than normal ?

Is the pain more intense or of a different nature than usual?

Are you experiencing an unusual symptom along with your usual symptoms?

Is a usual symptom more intense or longer lasting than normal?

Are you feeling more disabled by a symptom than normal?

Is the symptom timeline unusual? For example, are symptoms presenting one after the other instead of all at once or vice versa?

Do you have a fever in addition to your usual symptoms?

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.

Treatment For Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women

In general, migraine treatment with medicines should be limited as much as possible when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding. Instead, trying to identify and avoid potential migraine triggers is often recommended.

If medication is essential, then your GP may prescribe you a low-dose painkiller, such as paracetamol. In some cases, anti-inflammatory drugs or triptans may be prescribed. Speak to your GP or midwife before taking medication when you are pregnant or breastfeeding.

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When To Call A Doctor About Your Migraines

If youre not getting satisfactory relief from over-the-counter medications and lifestyle changes, or if youre taking over-the-counter medications more than 10 to 15 times per month, talk to your primary care physician about your headaches.

The evaluation of headaches usually starts with the primary care doctor, who assesses whether a patient has a common headache or something more serious, says Santiago Mazuera Mejia, MD, a neurologist at the Sandra and Malcolm Berman Brain & Spine Institute at LifeBridge Health in Baltimore, Maryland. Primary care doctors often continue to see people with infrequent migraines. However, if at some point, there is a need for more complex treatments, patients usually go to neurologists and headache specialists who have additional training in preventive and acute treatments as well as nonmedical treatments.

Its important to get evaluated by a doctor because taking over-the-counter medications too frequently can sometimes lead to serious side effects or actually make you get headaches more often.

Its helpful to keep a diary if you experience migraines because you may discover your triggers, which can inform which type of treatment is best for you. Write down what time your migraines occur, how long they last, how you slept the night before, what you ate/drank that day and when, how you felt emotionally that day, etc. Then bring that information to your doctor.

How Do You Know You Have A Migraine Here Are The Tell

Do You Have A Headache Or A Migraine? Here

Migraines are extraordinarily common the Migraine Research Foundation states that nearly 1 in 4 U.S. households have a family member who has suffered from a migraine before. Moreover, approximately 12% of the population suffers from migraines. The truth is, a migraine is much more than just a bad headache it is actually a neurological disease that can be extremely debilitating and disruptive to your life.

Its important to know the signs and symptoms of a migraine so you can learn how to effectively prevent and treat it. Every individual may experience some or all of these symptoms with moderate to severe intensity.

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What Is A Migraine With Aura

There are 2 types of migraine: migraine with aura, and without aura.

It might sound a bit paranormal, but migraine with aura is very real. Some people see flashing lights or a change in their vision some having trouble speaking, and some feel pins and needles in their arms and legs. This can happen before or during a migraine attack.

Even if you get auras, you may not experience one with every migraine. The aura itself usually lasts less than an hour. Scientists arent entirely sure why it happens.

How To Tell If You Have A Headache Sinus Pain Or A Migraine

Headaches in any form can be disruptive to our lives, but not all of them are the same.

According to experts, most people dont know the difference between various types of headaches, like sinus headaches and migraines. That can make a painful situation so much worse.

Knowing which issue youre dealing with is vital to treating it. So HuffPost reached out to the experts to help walk you through the differences, dispel some myths and help you learn more about what you may be experiencing. Here are the different types and what you can do about each of them:

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Do Migraines During Pregnancy Affect Your Baby

If youre nursing a painful head right now, heres some good news: the migraines that are causing you such a headache wont affect your baby. Theres no evidence at all to suggest that.

Butand this is importantits possible that some migraine medications can affect your little one.

Ergotamine, for example, has been associated with birth differences. Your doctor wont prescribe this to you for a migraine if youre expecting a baby.

So, how to get rid of a migraine when pregnant? Here are some things you can try:

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A Process Of Elimination

Tension Headaches Pain Relief And This Difference From Having A Migraine

Why all the questions? Doctor want to rule out other types of head pain, such as sinus headaches and cluster headaches, as well as other potential causes. Red flags that something else is going on include fever, weight loss, runny nose, eye tearing or sudden onset of headaches. Doctors use a method called SNOOP to elicit whether any of these worrisome symptoms could be a sign of a serious health situation such as a brain aneurysm or brain tumors . Your physical exam will include vital signs and simple neurologic tests to help rule out those possibilities. In the rare case that your doctor finds cause for concern, blood tests and/or imaging studies will be ordered to pinpoint the root cause, says Dr. Seng.

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Migraine Or Headache How To Tell The Difference

A Michigan Medicine neurologist explains the causes and symptoms of migraine, how it differs from a typical headache, and what to do when one hits.

A migraine can happen to anyone at any time.

And theyre relatively common: The severe headaches have affected 20 percent of women and nearly 10 percent of men within the last three months, federal data show.

The debilitating pain may last for hours or even days.

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Its the sixth-highest cause of disability for working people in the entire world, says Michigan Medicine headache neurologist Wade Cooper, D.O., so thinking that migraine isnt a big deal or isnt something thats a real disease is a missight for our patients, their family and the people they work with.

Many, however, might not know theyre having one.

Cooper, the director of Michigan Medicines Headache and Neuropathic Pain Clinic, explains how a headache differs from migraine, what symptoms to look for and why we shouldnt understate its impact.

What Are The Stages Of A Migraine

The Migraine Research Foundation says that migraine is a neurological disease that affects 39 million people in the U.S. Migraines, which often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood, can progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack and post-drome. Not everyone who has migraines goes through all stages.

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The 4 Phases Of A Migraine Headache

The migraine sign everyone knows is a severe headache, but theres actually more to it than that. In fact, there are four distinct stages to a migraine that can begin up to a full day before you descend into the pits of an attack. You might not go through every migraine phase every time you have one, and you may never experience some at all. Still, keep an eye out for these signs.

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Symptoms Of A Migraine

Do you have a headache or a migraine?

The main symptom of a migraine is usually an intense headache on one side of the head.

The pain is usually a moderate or severe throbbing sensation that gets worse when you move and prevents you from carrying out normal activities.

In some cases, the pain can occur on both sides of your head and may affect your face or neck.

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Who Gets Migraines

If you have migraines, you’re not alone. Up to 10% of U.S. teens and young adults get migraines. And after age 12, during and after puberty, migraines affect girls twice as often as guys.

Experts believe that the likelihood of getting migraines runs in the family. If one of your parents gets migraines, you have a greater chance of having them than someone who doesn’t have that family history.

What Is A Migraine

Migraine is a disease that causes recurrent attacks of head pain together with other symptoms such as a bad headache that often comes with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, smell, or touch. The pain may throb or pulse, and you usually feel it on one side of your head around your eye or temple.

A migraine with aura is the kind that can be confused with a stroke. An aura affects your senses and usually happens before the headache. You may see light flashes, zig-zagged lines, or blind spots, or you might feel tingling or numbness in your arms, legs, or face. You might have ringing in your ears or trouble speaking. Sometimes, you’ll have those symptoms but never get a headache. That tends to happen more often as you get older.

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What Should I Do When A Migraine Begins

Work with your doctor to come up with a plan for managing your migraines. Keeping a list of home treatment methods that have worked for you in the past also can help. When symptoms begin:

  • If you take migraine medicine, take it right away.
  • Drink fluids, if you don’t have nausea during your migraine.
  • Lie down and rest in a dark, quiet room, if that is practical.

Some people find the following useful:

  • A cold cloth on your head
  • Rubbing or applying pressure to the spot where you feel pain
  • Massage or other relaxation exercises

Having A Migraine: Signs And Symptoms

How to Tell if You Have a Sinus Headache

How migraines affects people can vary. However, there is a recognized pattern for these attacks the neurological disease typically progresses through four stages. Below are thestages and the symptoms they can come with.


Hours or days before a migraine episode, a good number of people notice some subtle warning signs. Typical symptoms during this stage include:

  • Food cravings or lack of appetite
  • Blurred vision
  • Confusion

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When To See A Doctor

An untreated migraine can affect your quality of life and lead to a host of other health issues. As such, it is important to know when to seek medical attention. You should see a doctor in case of:

  • Pain that seems like a first migraine episode
  • Unusual or worsening symptoms
  • Headache after a head injury
  • Headache that gets worse when you cough or move suddenly

We are committed to helping patients diagnosed with migraines find relief. Contact us today to find out more.

Difference Between Headache And Migraine

Many people use the two terms interchangeably, but the truth is, they are very different. They may both result in head pain but how they manifest symptoms and how they are treated will vary.

A headache is pain that causes pressure and aching. They usually come on slowly but some can hit out of nowhere. Pain ranges from mild to severe, usually occurring on both sides of your head, with common areas including the forehead, temples, and back of the neck, according to Healthline. They can last anywhere from a half hour to several days, with the most common type being a tension headache, triggered by stress, muscle strain, and anxiety.

A migraine is a type of headache that is intense or severe, with other symptoms present in addition to head pain, such as:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain behind one eye or ear
  • Pain in the temples
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Seeing flashing lights or spots
  • Aura

Sometimes migraines are so severe that people seek out care at an emergency room. Unlike headaches, migraines usually affect just one side of the head. And while you may be able to take part in activities or go to work with a headache, a migraine causes such intense pain, throbbing, and associated symptoms that it is extremely difficult or impossible to perform daily tasks. Often times, the only way to relieve a migraine is to take medication, then lie down in a dark room in silence until it passes.

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Sensitivity To Light And Noise

Moderate to severe sensitivities to light happen when overactive nerve cells in your brain cause inflammation to occur in your blood vessels, which produces the throbbing pain you feel. People who encounter migraines may have the urge to lay down in complete silence and darkness, as any light or noise seems to intensify the headache. This is another hallmark migraine symptom as approximately 80% of people with a migraine also report light and sound sensitivities.

How To Fake A Migraine

Migraine Types [How to Tell What Kind of Migraine You Have ...

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Faking a migraine can be a useful tactic for getting out of responsibilities or other engagements. Though its often better to be upfront and honest instead of pretending to be sick, you may find yourself in a situation where faking a migraine causes the least amount of conflict. Think carefully about faking a migraine before you decide to do so, and remember that this is a real condition that many people suffer from.

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Who Gets Migraines What Are The Risk Factors

Its difficult to predict who may get a migraine and who may not, but there are risk factors that may make you more vulnerable. These risk factors include:

  • Genetics: Up to 80% of people who get migraine headaches have a first-degree relative with the disease.
  • Gender. Migraine headaches happen to women more than men, especially women between the ages of 15 and 55. Its likely more common in women because of the influence of hormones.
  • Stress level. You may get migraines more often if youre high-stress. Stress can trigger a migraine.
  • Smoking.

Migraine Is Much More Than Just A Headache

There are different types of migraine that involve different symptoms. There are many features or symptoms that are a part of migraine. There are also differences in how severe a symptom might be.

The most common symptoms of a migraine attack include:

  • throbbing headache
  • sensitivity to light, noise and smell
  • nausea
  • lethargy

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Who Is At Risk For Migraines

About 12% of Americans get migraines. They can affect anyone, but you are more likely to have them if you

  • Are a woman. Women are three times more likely than men to get migraines.
  • Have a family history of migraines. Most people with migraines have family members who have migraines.
  • Have other medical conditions, such as depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders, and epilepsy.

Causes Risk Factors And Triggers

How to know if you have migraine Headaches?

The exact cause of migraine headaches is unknown. However, women are at a higher risk of suffering from the disease. They usually occurs during adolescence and tends to peak when people are in their 30s. Other risk factors are family history, hormonal changes and medical conditions like epilepsy, bipolar disorder, sleep disorders and depression. Common triggers include emotional stress, skipping meals, caffeine, changes to your sleep, and daily use of pain-relieving medications.

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Symptoms That Help Diagnose Migraine

How do you know when you have migraine? The following symptoms, which are typical will help you know that you have a migraine headache.

  • Occurrence of recurrent five or more headaches over a period
  • If you have migraine with aura, two such attacks are enough to confirm the diagnosis.
  • Symptoms of migraine aura are also described in the post on migraine symptoms.
  • The duration of a headache can be between four to seventy-two hours.
  • The migraine headache is usually unilateral, of throbbing nature, moderate to severe in intensity and is aggravated or triggered by physical activity. All these symptoms may not be present but presence of any two of these can lead to a fairly confirmed diagnosis.
  • Presence of vomiting and/or nausea or photophobia and phonophobia is a fairly good indicator.
  • Presence of risk factors

If the migraine sufferer is associated with any risk factor that makes him prone, the doctor will immediately suspect this as the cause of the headache. Risk factors include family history, age, and gender.


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