Managing Migraine To Manage Postdrome
Avoiding factors that you know trigger migraines may help reduce your likelihood of postdrome or at least reduce the duration and severity as well as the potential for triggering another full-blown attack. For many people, stress can trigger or exacerbate their migraine, so take time after a migraine attack to focus on your mental health and take care of yourself. Regular exercise, a consistent sleeping pattern and a healthy diet can help reduce stress, as can relaxation techniques like meditation. Eat healthy, nutritious meals frequently and try to get more sleep. If light is a migraine trigger for you, dont be afraid to keep things dark for a few days as you go through the postdrome phase.
If youre experiencing postdrome, take this time to focus on yourself and your well-being to help your body recover from each migraine attack and its aftereffects. A headache specialist can help you better understand your unique migraine experience and identify patterns that help you manage your migraine and postdrome. Visit the American Migraine Foundations guide to migraine and headache specialists to find a partner in your treatment journey.
What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine
The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.
Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.
Triggers Of Migraine Headache
Keeping a diary of the circumstances surrounding migraine attacks is recommended for all affected people in order to identify their potential triggers. These can then be avoided, with a view to reducing the frequency of headaches. Triggers vary considerably between people, and somebody may grow out of particular triggers or develop new ones. Some commonly recognised triggers of migraine headaches include:
- Environmental triggers. Loud noises, bright lights, flashing lights, strong smells like paint thinner, extreme hot or cold temperatures, poorly ventilated spaces.
- Physical triggers. Fatigue, poor posture, lack of sleep, sudden and strenuous exercise, head and neck tension, low blood sugar.
- Dietary triggers. Caffeine, alcohol, dehydration, irregular meal times, certain food additives such as aspartame and monosodium glutamate , chocolate, aged cheeses, salty foods and citrus fruits.
- Emotional triggers. Stress, shock, anxiety, low mood, tension.
- Hormonal triggers. Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, the combined contraceptive pill, hormone replacement therapy.
- Medicinal triggers. In particular, vasodilators and sleeping tablets. Always check the packet or consult a doctor to ascertain whether medications are associated with headaches before use.
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How Disabling Is Migraine
Migraine is the worlds third most common ailment and the leading cause of disability in those aged 15 to 49.
In the peak productive years of most peoples lives and careers, this is the most disabling condition, says Dr. Christine Lay, a Professor of Neurology and the founding director of the Headache Program at the University of Toronto.
Three times as many women as men suffer from migraine. Our migraines also last longer, happen more often, and are more intense. More women experience nausea, aura, and sensitivity to light and sound.
Despite being such a common and disabling disease, migraine is sorely misunderstoodeven by physicians. According to Lay, close to 50 percent of patients with migraine are misdiagnosed; they are often told they have a tension or vascular headache and dont receive appropriate treatment. Among those who are accurately diagnosed, half are given the wrong therapyor their treatment isnt adjusted when it needs to be. She says its critical for doctors to be educated about the disorder.
In medical school, the average doctor will receive only four to six hours of teaching in headache, says Lay, Yet migraine is one of the most disabling health conditions.
Because of this misunderstanding, migraineurs often lack the support and empathy they need.
As a result, people try to power through their migraine attacks. But migraine can make it impossible to get work doneand causes an even greater loss of productivity than calling in sick.
What Are The Exams And Tests For Secondary Headaches
The patient history and physical examination provide the initial direction for determining the cause of secondary headaches. Therefore, it is extremely important that patients with a new, severe headache seek medical care and give their health care professional an opportunity to assess their condition. Tests that may be useful in making the diagnosis of the underlying disease causing the headaches will depend upon the doctor’s evaluation and what specific disease, illness, or injury is being considered as the cause of the headaches . Common tests that are considered include the following:
- blood tests;
- lumbar puncture .
Specific tests will depend upon what potential issues the health care professional and patient want to address.
Blood tests may be used to assess electrolyte imbalance, and a variety of other potential problems involving organs like the liver, kidney, and thyroid.
Toxicology tests may be helpful if the patient is suspected of abusing alcohol, or prescription or other drugs of abuse.
Computerized tomography of the head
Computerized tomography is able to detect bleeding, swelling, and some tumors within the skull and brain. It also can show evidence of a previous stroke. With intravenous contrast injection , it may also be used to look at the arteries of the brain for aneurysms.
Magnetic resonance imaging of the head
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Meningitis And Brain Infections
Meningitis is infection of the tissues around and on the surface of the brain and encephalitis is infection of the brain itself. Brain infections can be caused by germs called bacteria, viruses or fungi and they are thankfully rare. They cause a severe, disabling headache. Usually patients are sick and cannot bear bright light . Often they have a stiff neck, too stiff for the doctor to be able to bend the head down so that the chin touches the chest . Patients are usually also unwell – hot, sweaty and ill.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Migraine
A migraine attack happens in stages and lasts from a few hours to several days. The symptoms vary depending on the stage:Prodrome: This early stage can include a host of symptoms: fatigue, uncontrollable yawning, insomnia, nausea, gastrointestinal upset, neck stiffness, food cravings, tinnitus, and sensitivity to light and sound. Anxiety and depression are also common. The prodrome is the best time to treat a migraine attack, but it can be hard to pinpoint since many of the symptoms can be caused by other issues.
Aura: Roughly a quarter of migraineurs experience aura. It can start with spots in the visual field, which gradually spreadusually on one side. People describe seeing shimmering lights, geometric patterns, and zigzag lines. Aura can be particularly alarmingespecially if youre in publicbecause it blocks your vision. Some people also experience sensory phenomena like a tingling hand or arm. This phase lasts from five minutes to an hour and usually precedes the headache, but the two can happen simultaneously.Headache: A migraine headache is typically a throbbing pain on one side of the head, which sometimes spreads to other areas. The headache can also be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, insomnia, anxiety, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. This phase lasts from four to 72 hours. While this is the most well-known symptom, some people dont experience the headache phase at all, or not with every attack.
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What Is The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine
The main cause of the headache is the contraction of the muscles between the head and neck. It is a dull pain felt across the head, is mild to moderate, and in extreme cases, may last for a few days. More commonly, it lasts for half an hour to a couple of hours.
On the contrary, migraine tends to range from moderate to very severe in intensity. It is a throbbing and severe pain which is felt at the side or in the front of the head. It lasts for a couple of days and is accompanied by a few other symptoms called the aura.
Headaches do not have any warning signs accompanying it. On the other hand, migraine has auras beforehand. These can be visual, auditory, psychological or physiological. These are due to the neurological changes in the brain. For example, Basilar migraines are characterised with symptoms of fainting, double vision and loss of balance and Familial hemiplegic migraines are characterised by reversible paralysis.
Sudden stress, anxiety, depression, poor posture, tiredness, dehydration, hunger, smells, squinting, noise and sunlight could be the triggering agents for headaches. Menstruation, menopause, low blood sugar, hypoglycaemia, a diet high in sugar, anxiety, exercise, contraceptives, medicines, dehydration, alcohol, too much screen time and diet are some of the triggering agents of migraine.
Are There Different Kinds Of Migraine
Yes, there are many forms of migraine. The two forms seen most often are migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
Migraine with aura .;With a migraine with aura, a person might have these sensory symptoms 10 to 30 minutes before an attack:
- Seeing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots
- Numbness or tingling in the face or hands
- Disturbed sense of smell, taste, or touch
- Feeling mentally “fuzzy”
Only one in five people who get migraine experience an aura. Women have this form of migraine less often than men.
Migraine without aura .;With this form of migraine, a person does not have an aura but has all the other features of an attack.
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Which Medicine Is Best For Migraine
If ordinary painkillers are not relieving migraine headaches, a medication termed Triptan may need to be taken in addition to other painkillers and anti-sickness medicines. These are specific drugs for migraine headaches by bringing about some changes in the brain. In migraine, blood vessels widen to cause a specific type of headache and Triptans are known to narrow these vessels. This drug is available as tablets, injections and nasal sprays.
Similarly, anti-emetics can successfully treat migraine even if one did not experience vomiting. They act best when taken immediately after experiencing migraine symptoms. Usually, they come in the form of a tablet but may also be available as a suppository. Side-effects can be drowsiness and diarrhoea.
Combination medicines are also available for managing migraine. However, a disadvantage of this medicine is that the dosages of either the painkiller or the antiemetic may not be high enough in the combination medicine to relieve the symptoms. In such cases, its better to take painkiller and anti-emetics separately rather than as a combination so as to be able to relieve the symptoms effectively.
How Are Migraine And Tooth Pain Linked
People with migraine can definitely experience pain in the jaw, and they may say that their teeth hurt. However, it is not common to have pain localized to one or two teeth it is usually a more diffuse pain.
If someone says, “These two teeth hurt,” during what they think is a migraine attack, then other causes should be considered, like infections or chronic conditions involving the teeth that can potentially produce pain locally in that distribution.
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How Are Cluster Headaches Treated
Cluster headaches may be very difficult to treat, and it may take trial and error to find the specific treatment regimen that will work for each patient. Since the headache recurs daily, there are two treatment needs. The pain of the first episode needs to be controlled, and the headaches that follow need to be prevented.
Initial treatment options may include one or more of the following:
- inhalation of high concentrations of oxygen ;
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.
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How Are Secondary Headaches Diagnosed
If there is time, the diagnosis of secondary headache begins with a complete patient history followed by a physical examination and laboratory and radiology tests as appropriate.
However, some patients present in crisis with a decreased level of consciousness or unstable vital signs due to the underlying cause of the headache. In these situations, the health care professional may decide to treat a specific cause without waiting for tests to confirm the diagnosis.
For example, a patient with headache, fever, stiff neck, and confusion may have meningitis. Since meningitis can be rapidly fatal, antibiotic therapy may be started before blood tests and a lumbar puncture are performed to confirm the diagnosis. It may be that another diagnosis ultimately is found, for example, a brain tumor or subarachnoid hemorrhage, but the benefit of early antibiotics outweighs the risk of not giving them promptly.
Types Of Headache Pain
The different types of pain associated with a headache can lead to a specific diagnosis as to headache type.
- Throbbing or pulsing pain is associated with migraine while pressure or vice-like pain is typically associated with tension headaches. In these headaches, the severity may vary from mild to severe.
- Cluster headache is stabbing, piercing, and severe.
- Sinus headaches are described as pressure and pain behind the eyes, along the cheeks, or in the areas of the upper teeth and forehead.
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Exploring Different Types Of Migraine And Headaches Compare Your Symptoms
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There are many different types of migraine or headache disorders.; The list of different types of migraine and headache disorders is below with their typical symptoms as well. Because many of them overlap, or for the overachievers who have multiple different types of headache, its best to get diagnosed by a headache specialist. This is usually a neurologist that has spent an additional year of training, called a fellowship, studying headache medicine. The best way to get a proper diagnosis of the type of migraine you have is to see a certified specialist. You can find them using this link from the American Migraine Foundation.
I have been seeing a headache specialist for years and the difference is marked. These doctors have a special interest in treating different types of migraine and headache disorders. Just like other neurologists might have a special interest in stroke or multiple sclerosis. Its best to see a doctor that understands, on a higher level,;different types of migraine and headache and all that accompanies them. Especially if you have a chronic form of migraine which can occur with any of the types listed below.
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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What Causes Migraine Pain On 1 Side Of The Head
Doctors believe a migraine occurs when blood flow in the brain changes and causes certain nerves to send abnormal pain signals. During a migraine attack, brain chemicals called neurotransmitters get released which inflame brain tissue and blood vessels. This process is thought to cause many migraine symptoms, including pain on 1 side of the head.4
Important Differences Between Migraine And Aneurysm Symptoms
There is definitely some crossover in the symptoms of migraines and ruptured brain aneurysms. ;Symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, blurred or double vision, and sensitivity to light occur in both conditions.
There are, however, some important differences. The pain from a ruptured brain aneurysm is often described as the worst headache of a persons life. The pain comes on more suddenly and is more severe than any previous headaches or migraines.
In contrast, migraine headaches usually come on gradually. Migraines often cause moderate to severe throbbing pain or a pulsating sensation on one side of the head. They can include an aura, which is usually a warning sign that the migraine is about to start. Auras can include visual disturbances or flashes of light.
Doctors may find an unruptured aneurysm because a patient presents with unrelated headaches, or after a head trauma, leading the doctor to order a CT or MRI , said Shervin R. Dashti, M.D., Ph.D., neurosurgeon with Norton Neuroscience Institute .
The type and the size of the aneurysm and any risk factors determine how dangerous a particular aneurysm is. Ruptured brain aneurysms always require emergency treatment. With unruptured aneurysms, only those deemed to be at relatively high risk of rupture are treated.
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