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.
When To Contact Your Gp
You should contact your GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms that you cannot manage with over-the-counter painkillers.
Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers often. This could make it harder to treat headaches over time.
You should contact your GP if you have frequent migraines even if you can manage them with medicine. Frequent migraines means a migraine on more than 5 days a month. Preventative treatment may help you.
What Is Chronic Migraine
Chronic migraine is defined as having headache on at least 15 days per month, with eight of these having migraine symptoms, for at least three months. People who have fewer headache days with migraine symptoms have episodic migraine.
If you have chronic migraine your symptoms may include:
- frequent headache
- increased sensitivity to light, sound or smells
- vomiting .
Other symptoms include aura , dizziness and vertigo .
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Common Symptoms Of 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. It can prevent you carrying out normal activities.
Sometimes, the pain can occur on both sides of your head. It may also affect your face or neck.
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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When You Get A Migraine
Try to treat your symptoms right away. This may help make the headache less severe. When migraine symptoms begin:
- Drink water to avoid dehydration, especially if you have vomited
- Rest in a quiet, dark room
- Place a cool cloth on your head
- Avoid smoking or drinking coffee or caffeinated drinks
- Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages
- Try to sleep
Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as acetaminophen, ibuprofen, or aspirin, are often helpful when your migraine is mild.
Your health care provider may have prescribed medicines to stop a migraine. These drugs come in different forms. They may come as a nasal spray, rectal suppository, or injection instead of pills. Other medicines can treat nausea and vomiting.
Follow your provider’s instructions about how to take all of your medicines. Rebound headaches are headaches that keep coming back. They can occur from overuse of pain medicine. If you take pain medicine more than 3 days a week on a regular basis, you can develop rebound headaches.
Phases Of A Migraine Attack
Prodrome Phase This first phase of migraine can occur hours to days prior to the attack, says Dr. Spears. It typically involves a change in mood and energy certain cravings or excessive yawning can be a sign of prodrome, he says.
People sometimes confuse these prodrome, or premonitory, symptoms, with migraine triggers. Thats to say, a person who craves chocolate as a prodrome symptom may mistakenly believe that consuming chocolate triggered the migraine attack, according to MigraineAgain.
Aura About 25 to 35 percent of people with migraine have aura, says Spears. The most common aura is a visual change with a kaleidoscope-like phenomenon that can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour but usually much less than an hour, he says. Other aura symptoms may include tingling sensations, numbness, garbled speech, and clumsiness or weakness.
Headache Phase This stage can last 4 to 72 hours, and in most patients, its marked by a headache on one side of the head thats throbbing and pulsating in quality. Typically, the pain is described as moderate to severe, says Spears.
The headache phase is also associated with becoming sensitive to the environment, he adds. Light, sound, and odor sensitivity are common, as are nausea and vomiting, he says.
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When Should You See A Doctor About A Headache
Headaches not only cause you pain, but can result in loss of productivity and income. If you have ongoing headaches, its important to see your doctor to try and figure out the cause, rather than just put up with the pain. Keep in mind that most headaches do not point to a serious illness, extra worry about your headache might make it worse!
See your doctor if your headaches are frequent, youve had a headache for more than a few days, or your headaches are causing you stress or worry.
Rarely, a headache might be a sign of a serious medical condition. You should seek immediate medical attention if you:
- have a sudden, very severe headache, and its the first time its happened
- are experiencing any of the signs of stroke including a dropped face on one side droopy mouth or eye cannot lift one or both arms or have slurred or garbled speech
- have a headache accompanied by a stiff neck and fever
- have signs of severe dehydration or heat stroke
- may have been poisoned by ingesting, inhaling or touching a substance, or being bitten or stung by a poisonous animal or plant
- or have injured your head from a fall, blow or bump.
Allergy Sinusitis And Sinus Headache Resources
There are a number of very good resources available for people suffering from allergies, sinusitis, and sinus headaches:
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How To Treat A Headache
Because there are so many different types of headache, there are lots of different ways they can be treated.
If your headaches are frequent, keeping a diary that lists when you get headaches might help you figure out what triggers them. If theres an obvious cause, like a tight neck, dehydration, or having too much caffeine, you might be able to avoid headaches by changing your behaviour or lifestyle.
When you have a headache, the below steps can help relieve the pain.
- rest and relax in a quiet space with good ventilation
- put a cool cloth or ice pack on your head
- splash your face with cold water
- if you have a tension headache, massage your neck, jaw, shoulders and head
- talk to your pharmacist about what pain medication you can take this might change depending your health, if you are taking any other medications and the type of headache you have.
Try these tips for preventing headaches:
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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What Is Chronic Fatigue Syndrome
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention consider it chronic fatigue syndrome when the tiredness is:
- Not due to activity
- A relatively new symptom and not a lifelong condition
- Causes a significant reduction in previous levels of activities2
For a diagnosis of CFS, three main symptoms must be present, including:2
- Significantly lower ability to do activities that were easily done before the illness for 6 months or longer
- Worsening of CFS symptoms after physical or mental activity that would have typically not caused symptoms before the illness
- Sleep disturbances
At least 1 of 2 other symptoms must be present as well: either memory/cognitive problems or a worsening of symptoms when standing up.2
Many health conditions may cause fatigue. It is estimated that 67 percent of people living with migraine also meet the criteria for CFS.3 The overlap of symptoms is something to keep in mind. When it strikes as a symptom of a migraine attack, it can make it very difficult to perform normal activities. Often, fatigue does not go away with the pain. The person living with migraine may experience fatigue for days following a migraine episode.
See Your Doctor As Soon As Possible If You Experience Any Of These Troubling Symptoms
We all get headaches from time to time. They can be brought on by annoying but manageable reasons such as stress, dehydration or your menstrual cycle, or they could be the result of an ongoing medical issue, such as migraines.
But how can you tell when a headache is a symptom of an even more serious or life-threatening problem? Here are some signs to look for.
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Sinusitis And Sinus Headaches
What most people dont realize is that true sinus headaches are actually quite uncommon and are often over diagnosed or misdiagnosed. Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses, often due to a bacterial infection. The sinuses are air pockets that are situated at certain points in the facial bones. Scientists are not certain the exact purpose of sinuses. Some believe that it helps enhance the voice through resonation while others believe it may be a way for the body to humidify the air during inhalation. They are usually empty but do have a very thin mucus layer along the walls.
There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses, meaning that there are two at the same points on the left and right. They are:
- Frontal sinuses: above the eyes just over the eyebrows
- Maxillary sinuses: on each side of the nose, in the cheekbone
- Ethmoid sinuses: between the eyes, under the bridge of the nose
- Sphenoid sinuses: behind the eyes and ethmoid sinuses
Inflammation of the sinuses can occur due to bacterial, viral, or fungal causes and can present in one of the sinus pair, or several. If there is an infection present, it is important that it is treated. Failure to properly treat a sinus infection can cause serious health risks and can create a propensity to develop sinus infections in the future.
What Can Cause A Migraine
Doctors are not sure what exactly causes migraines. But, many things can trigger a migraine. Different people have different triggers, which can include:
- Stress or anxiety
- Changes in hormones
- Bright lights, loud sounds, and strong smells
- Certain foods, such as chocolate, cheese, salty foods, or processed foods
- Food additives such as MSG or aspartame
- Not getting enough to eat
- Not getting enough sleep
- Some medicines
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What Can I Do To Prevent Migraines
One of the best ways to prevent migraines is to try to avoid the things that might trigger your attacks. Most people benefit from trying to get stable sleep, eating regular meals, drinking plenty of fluids to keep hydrated, and trying to manage stress. Taking regular exercise may also help prevent migraines since it helps with breathing, improving blood sugar balance and maintaining general wellbeing. Although you should take care not to engage in very strenuous activity that your body is not used to as this can sometimes act as a migraine trigger.
Keeping a diary of your migraines can be a useful way to record when and where you experience attacks, check for any patterns, and try to identify your triggers. Take the diary when you see your GP so you can communicate your symptoms with them and they can find the best way to help you.
Tracking Your Migraine Symptoms
Keeping a record of your migraine symptoms may help you figure out patterns and triggers to your attacks. It may be helpful to record such things as:
- When and where your pain or symptoms start
- Whether the pain spreads to your entire head or neck
- How well and how quickly acute treatment helps reduce the pain or other symptoms
- How long your pain or symptoms last
- Whether you experience other symptoms such as vision changes, nausea, or light sensitivity
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Are Migraines Fatal
Most migraines don’t cause lasting harm.
Rarely, you can have a complication called migrainous infarction. That’s when you have a stroke while you’re having a migraine. But there’s no evidence migraine can trigger a stroke.
It’s extremely rare, but a hemiplegic migraine can sometimes lead to a coma or other serious complications.
A very intense headache that starts suddenly can be a sign of another, more serious condition, like a stroke or aneurysm. Get medical help right away if this happens.
What Is A Migraine
A migraine is not simply a bad headache. A migraine is an intense headache that may be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea , vomiting , visual problems and an increased sensitivity to light or sound.
Migraines commonly last between four hours and three days. Some people experience migraines several times a week. Others might only experience attacks every few years. If you experience headaches on 15 days or more each month, and eight of these headaches are migraines, this is known as chronic migraine.
Although migraines are not life-threatening and do not shorten peoples life expectancies, they can significantly damage the quality of peoples lives. A World Health Organisation study identified migraine as the sixth highest cause worldwide of years lost due to disability . Repeated migraines can have a negative impact on family life, social life and employment.
There are two main types of migraine: migraine without aura and migraine with aura .
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Migraine Treatment And Home Remedies
There’s no cure for migraine headaches. But many drugs can treat or even prevent them. Common migraine treatments include:
You may ease migraine symptoms by:
- Resting with your eyes closed in a dark, quiet room
- Putting a cool compress or ice pack on your forehead
- Drinking plenty of liquids
Complementary and alternative treatments
Some people get relief with therapies they use in addition to or instead of traditional medical treatment. These are called complementary or alternative treatments. For migraine, they include:
- Biofeedback. This helps you take note of stressful situations that could trigger symptoms. If the headache begins slowly, biofeedback can stop the attack before it becomes full-blown.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy . A specialist can teach you how actions and thoughts affect how you sense pain.
- Supplements. Research has found that some vitamins, minerals, and herbs can prevent or treat migraines. These include riboflavin, coenzyme Q10, and melatonin. Butterbur may head off migraines, but it can also affect your liver enzymes.
- Body work. Physical treatments like chiropractic, massage, acupressure, acupuncture, and craniosacral therapy might ease headache symptoms.
Talk to your doctor before trying any complementary or alternative treatments.
Preventative Medication And Therapies
If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.
It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.
You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.
National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:
Beta blocking drugs
These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.
This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.
Botulinum toxin type A
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