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.
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Other Types Of Headaches
Doctors have diagnosed hundreds of conditions associated with headaches. Here are just a few:
Medication headaches.;Many drugs number headaches among their side effects. And although it seems paradoxical, many medications used to treat headaches can also cause medication overuse headaches or rebound headaches. Migraine sufferers are particularly vulnerable to a vicious cycle of pain leading to more medication, which triggers more pain. If you have frequent headaches and use medication, OTC or prescription, or both, for more than 10 to 15 days a month, you may have medication overuse headaches. The way to find out is to discontinue or taper your medication but always consult your doctor first. A corticosteroid such as prednisone may help control pain during the withdrawal period.
Sinus headaches.;Acute sinusitis;causes pain over the forehead, around the nose and eyes, over the cheeks, or in the upper teeth. Stooping forward increases the pain. Thick nasal discharge, congestion, and fever pinpoint the problem to the sinuses. When the acute infection resolves, the pain disappears. Sinusitis is not a common cause of chronic or recurrent headaches.
Ice cream headaches.;Some people develop sharp, sudden headache pain when they eat anything cold. The pain is over in less than a minute, even if you keep eating. If you are bothered by ice cream headaches, try eating slowly and warming the cold food at the front of your mouth before you swallow it.
Nutrition And Lifestyle Changes For Migraine With Aura
Lifestyle changes can help treat migraines, including:
Get regular 6 to 8 hours of sleep each night. This amount of sleep can help stop common migraine attacks.
When you first notice the symptoms of a migraine attack, stop what you are doing. Try to stay in a dark room with minimal interruptions and put an ice pack on the back of the neck. These measures can prevent the onset of severe symptoms.
When you feel the onset of migraine symptoms, take a break and relax. This can prevent a migraine from getting worse once it starts.
Eat and drink less of migraine triggers. Once you identify the trigger foods and drinks, reduce them or cut them out altogether.
As a result;
Migraine with auraIt is characterized by disturbances in vision, sensation, or speech. It can occur before or during a migraine attack and typically lasts less than 60 minutes.
Some people may experience aura without a migraine headache.
Migraine with auracan be treated with a combination of drugs. Preventive medications can stop migraine symptoms from occurring, while other medications can help relieve acute symptoms when they do occur.
The symptoms of an aura may be similar to more serious conditions such as a stroke or seizure.;
Immediate treatment is essential if a headache is severe, sudden, or accompanied by a stiff neck, fever, confusion, or convulsions.
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The Symptom Spectrum Of The Migraine Aura
Migraine, a partially genetic prevalent brain disorder , presents with attacks separated by interictal phases. An attack can be considered as a dysfunctional brain state probably related with long-lasting anatomical and functional consequences, as shown by our group and others .
In at least a third of migraine attacks, the headache phase is preceded and/or accompanied by transient neurological symptoms referred to as aura. In this case, the condition is classified as migraine with aura , contrary to migraine without aura , when no aura symptom is present . The most frequent aura phenotype consists of positive and/or negative visual phenomena, present in up to 99% of the patients . Phenotypes include primary visual disturbances, for example flashes of light, moving zigzags expanding in a horseshoe pattern, white spots, âlike looking through air close to a road paved with asphalt in a very hot sunny dayâ, colored spots; or less frequent more complex perceptions, such as fractured vision, dysmorphopsias, lilliputian or brobdingnagian hallucinations, misperceptions of distances, hemianopsias, tunnel vision, among others . Since visual auras varies in form, severity, and duration, the anatomical location, extent, and probably nature of the underlying occipital dysfunction must vary accordingly.
Natural Care For Migraine Sufferers
Migraine solutions can be difficult to come by, especially those that utilize natural methods. Short-term relief is possible by addressing individual symptoms such as headache and nausea.; But, when it comes to migraines, it is beneficial to dig a few layers deeper to understand what root causes are at play.; The atlas vertebra, which is at the junction of the head and neck, can be a contributing factor to the abnormal neurological changes that occur during a migraine episode.
Many migraine sufferers have been choosing upper cervical chiropractic as part of their migraine care regimen.; Upper cervical chiropractic care for those who experience migraines makes sense for several reasons:
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What Are The Signs And Symptoms Of Silent Migraine
That depends entirely on the specific type of migraine. For example, in migraine aura without headache, the symptoms are typically visual: sparkling lights and flashing lights, shimmering or sparkling lines, or difficulty focusing vision.
On the sensory side, symptoms unaccompanied by headache would typically be numbness and tingling of the face and arm. On the language side, it’s generally a difficulty with word finding.
Then for abdominal migraine, you could have gastrointestinal symptoms: nausea and vomiting, or abdominal pain, without headache. For vestibular migraine, you could have dizziness and vertigo without the headache.
Are Migraine Auras Serious
Migraine with aura is repeated episodes of headache that occur during or after sensory disturbances . These disturbances may include symptoms such as flashes of light, blind spots, and other vision changes or tingling over the hand or face. Migraine aura;is not in itself;dangerous; however,;the;symptoms of migraine aura can sometimes look and feel like other serious conditions such as a stroke. It is advisable to consult a doctor to rule out anything serious. Triggers and treatment of migraine with aura and migraine without aura are usually the same.
Migraine is a type of headache characterized by intense throbbing pain in the head or behind the eyes. Throbbing pain or pulsing sensation usually begins on one side of the head, in the forehead, or around the eyes. Headache is aggravated by sudden movement, physical activity, loud noise, or bright light. Migraine may occur once or twice a month or every day and is accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, giddiness, or sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine pain normally lasts from 4 hours to 3 days and could be so severe that it may interfere with routine activities. The triggers, site of headache, severity, associated symptoms duration, and frequency of migraine episodes can vary from person to person. The symptoms of migraine aura also can vary from person to person. Migraines have a strong genetic predisposition and are usually more common in women than in men.
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Sunlight And Other Bright Lighting
Being exposed to any type of bright light has been cited as the second leading cause of migraine with aura, and there is evidence that it may have a more profound effect on those who frequently experience auras with their attacks. Interestingly, researchers also took a more in-depth look and found specifically that sunlight as well as transitioning from dark to light environments were most likely to be problematic.
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.
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Risk Factors And Complications
Like migraines without aura, migraines with aura dont appear to cause lasting damage, although they can be painful and disruptive.4 However, people who experience migraines with aura may have a slightly higher risk of stroke, and so should be aware of the signs.2,5
You should also consult a doctor when you first experience aura symptoms, as some of these can also be caused by a stroke, retinal tear or other serious conditions.2
The Importance Of Consulting A Doctor
Its important to visit a doctor if you experience migraine aura without headache frequently. This can help rule out other conditions that cause aura or visual disturbances and get an accurate diagnosis.
Episodic aura without headache is usually not a problem. Its a nuisance. It happens maybe one or two times a year, says Dr. Digre. Its the people who get the frequent aura without headache that I want to see, evaluate and make sure that nothing else is going on.
Your doctor can conduct an examination to make sure theres no sign of a visual field defect or permanent impairment, and may also order an MRI scan or bloodwork. Blood tests can help distinguish migraine aura without headache from other conditions such as autoimmune conditions. Persistent aura can be seen with a stroke, so getting the correct diagnosis is really important.
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What You Can Do
- Keep track of your symptoms. Keep a headache diary by writing a description of each incident of visual disturbances or unusual sensations, including when they occurred, how long they lasted and what triggered them. A headache diary can help your doctor diagnose your condition.
- Write down key personal information, including major stresses or recent life changes.
For migraine with aura, some questions to ask your doctor include:
- What’s the likely cause of my symptoms?
- What tests, if any, do I need?
- Is my condition likely temporary or chronic?
- What treatments are available? Which do you recommend?
- I have other health conditions. How can I best manage them together?
- Are there dietary restrictions I need to follow?
- Are there written materials I can take with me or websites you recommend?
Don’t hesitate to ask other questions you have.
What Is The Migraine Aura
For those who experience migraine aura, it often signals an unmistakable warning of an impending migraine attack. Most commonly, an aura is a visual arc of scintillating, shining spots or shapes which begin in a small area of your central vision and gradually expand peripherally.;
This movement across the visual field is attributed to a cortical spreading depression . CSD is a wave of electrically excitable neurons and their surrounding cells depolarising. The cells which are normally negatively charged become positively charged. What follows is a period of suppressed neural activity. Neural activity is believed to be the physical basis for thoughts, feelings, and perceptions.
For most people auras last 5-60 minutes which is usually followed by a moderate to severe head pain that characterizes migraine.
Types of Migraine Auras
Visual symptoms are felt in around 86% of those who experience a migraine with aura. There are also other types of migraine auras which are generally less well known.
These include sensory aura, language aura and motor aura.
In the same way a visual aura causes all sorts of disruption to vision, the sensory aura disrupts other senses. Smell, touch and hearing impairment or disruption are symptoms of the sensory aura.
Language aura refers to when speech and language systems are disrupted. Symptoms include difficulty speaking and finding the right word.
Motor aura results in muscle weakness or paralysis to one area or side of the body.
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Causes Of Migraine Aura
Migraine aura is believed to be caused primarily by cortical spreading depression .
Brain cells use electrical ions around the cellular membrane to maintain equilibrium. In aura, there is a temporary malfunction of this cellular balance which causes a slow wave of electrical disturbance, the CSD.
This wave of intense excitation across the visual cortex is what is thought to lead to visual aura symptoms including shimmering patches or curves, stars or blind spots etc. After the wave passes it could also cause an abnormal inhibition of activity which may explain the blind spots, partial or temporary blindness.
Neuroimaging studies show some evidence that suggest CSD leads to a temporary decrease in blood supply to certain areas in the brain. The lack of blood supply and the electrical disruptions may account for the wide and varied range of symptoms. It may also help explain differences that can be experienced by the same individual on different occasions.
Why some people have aura and others dont is likely due to several anomalies that researchers dont yet fully understand. It is hypothesized that there are several genetic factors that play a role in a patients predisposition to migraine with aura. Research is taking place to understand potential genes involved in aura which will hopefully lead to specific treatments to prevent aura.
When To Seek Treatment For Migraine
If your headache or migraine attacks are interfering with your everyday life or functioning, see a doctor. If you have migraine with aura, treatment with a combination of acute and preventative medication is necessary.
A doctor can do an exam and determine whether the cause is migraine or something else. An accurate diagnosis can help you get appropriate treatment.
Medical attention is necessary if your symptoms:
- have a sudden onset
- last more than an hour
- dont completely resolve
If you have symptoms like a loss of consciousness or weakness on one side of the body, call 911 or go to the nearest emergency room. Migraine with aura increases the risk of stroke, and its important to avoid certain medications and treat any symptoms.
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What Triggers Migraine With Aura
What exactly causes an aura is unknown. It is believed to be caused by a wave of electrical activity spreading across the brain’s cortex.
This wave is then followed by prolonged suppression of nerve cell activity. This can lead to various changes, such as changes in blood flow, that can lead to migraine symptoms.
It’s also possible that the aura is triggered by the same things that can trigger migraine attacks without aura. These are:
-Migraine attacks can be triggered by various factors. Common triggers include:
Emotional stress is one of the most common triggers of migraine headaches. During stressful events, certain chemicals in the brain are released to combat the situation.
The release of these chemicals can trigger migraines. Other emotions such as anxiety, worry, and excitement can increase muscle tension and dilate blood vessels. This can make migraines more severe.
skip a meal
Delaying a meal can also trigger migraine pain.
Sensitivity to certain chemicals and preservatives in foods
Certain foods and beverages, such as aged cheese, alcoholic beverages, food additives such as chocolate and nitrates, and fermented or pickled foods are responsible for triggering up to 30% of migraines.
Too much kafein Taking or avoiding caffeine can cause a headache when the caffeine level drops suddenly.;
Daily use of pain medication
If you use medications used to relieve headaches too often, this can cause a rebound headache.
Hormonal changes in women
Other Sensory Aura Symptoms
While vision is the most common sense affected by aura, it can affect any of your senses. You may experience sudden changes or distortion of your hearing, taste or smell, including hearing, tasting or smelling things that aren’t there.;
Aura can also cause changes in physical sensation or touch. The main symptoms of a sensory aura are feelings of;numbness or tingling, or pins and needles. It usually begins at the extremities, that is your fingers or toes, and works its way up the limb.;This feeling can also occur on one side of your face, lips, or tongue. Alternatively, you might be able to feel nothing at all.
If the tingling feeling is accompanied by motor weakness that is usually diagnosed as hemiplegic migraine.;;
You may also experience a loss or distortion in your ability to detect temperature, whether that be your brain registering cold as hot or vice versa, or just everything seeming a bit lukewarm.;;
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How Can I Treat Migraines Without Using Medicines
It is very important to remember that many of the most effective preventive treatments for migraines do not require any medications. Frequent aerobic exercise is an excellent example of an effective way to improve headaches. Other strategies may include better sleep habits, stress reduction, massage, yoga, and acupuncture.
Migraine Without Aura And Migraine With Aura: Separate Entities
Whether MA and MWA are part of a continuum or distinct entities has been much disputed . The continuum theory is based on the clinical co-occurrence of MA and MWA, the similarity between MA and MWA during the prodrome, the headache and the resolution phases and the similar therapeutic response. Clinical observations also suggest that one form may transform into the other . However, clinical, epidemiological, pathophysiological and genetic findings suggest that MA and MWA are distinct . The co-occurrence of MA and MWA is no more than a random occurrence . Moreover, headaches in MA are less severe and shorter than in MWA and in MWA a hormonal influence is clearer . In a population-based twin sample it was found that unilateral headache, photophobia and a shorter duration were associated with MA whilst nausea was more common in MWA .
Dilatation of large inter- and extracranial arteries occurs in both forms during an attack, but regional cerebral blood flow changes are present only in MA . Finally imaging and biochemical studies suggest that these are two distinct entities .
Gerry J.F. Saldanha, in, 2010