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.
Light Noise Or Smells Trigger Or Worsen Pain
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.”
Acephalgic Migraine Or Migraine Without Headache
Acephalgic migraine is also known as migraine without headache, aura without headache, silent migraine, and visual migraine without headache. Acephalgic migraines occur when a person has an aura, but doesnt get a headache. This type of migraine isnt uncommon in people who start having migraines after age 40.
Visual aura symptoms are most common. With this type of migraine, the aura may gradually occur with symptoms spreading over several minutes and move from one symptom to another. After visual symptoms, people may have numbness, speech problems, and then feel weak and unable to move a part of their body normally. Read on to get a better understanding of acephalgic or silent migraines.
Also known as menstrual migraines and exogenous estrogen withdrawal headaches, hormonal migraines are linked with the female hormones, commonly estrogen. They include migraines during:
- your period
- the first few days after you start or stop taking medications that have estrogen in them, such as birth control pills or hormone therapy
If youre using hormone therapy and have an increase in headaches, your doctor may talk with you about:
- adjusting your dose
- changing the type of hormones
- stopping hormone therapy
You May Like: Octal Migraine
How Are Migraines Diagnosed
Your doctor can diagnose migraines by the symptoms you describe. If the diagnosis is not clear, your doctor will perform a physical exam. Your doctor might want to do blood tests or imaging tests, such as an MRI or CAT scan of the brain. These tests can help ensure there are no other causes for the headache. You may also be asked to keep a headache journal. This can help your doctor identify the things that might cause your migraines.
If headache pain is getting in the way of your daily activities, its time to see your family doctor. Read More
Types And Causes Of Common Headaches
The most common types of headaches are tension and migraine headaches. Tension headaches strike when the muscles in the head and neck tighten. Migraines come on when supersensitive nerve endings in the brain create pain.
But what makes the muscles tense, or causes some nerve endings in the brain to become so sensitive? That’s not as well understood. Those causes of headaches can vary from person to person. But some triggers are common.
Tension headaches are often set off by:
- caffeine withdrawal
- abrupt cessation of medications that contain caffeine, such as some pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
- weather changes
- food and drinks, such as chocolate processed foods that contain monosodium glutamate or alcohol
Many of those triggers for tension headachesespecially stress, hunger, fatigue, and lack of sleepcan also set off a migraine headache. But nailing down causes of headaches in the migraine category is a little trickier the headaches may stem from many factors, or combinations of factors. The particular combination is specific to an individual. Potential culprits include
Read Also: Can Migraines Cause Fever
Diagnosing Migraine Aura Without Pain
Migraine aura without pain can be hard to diagnose. It can be confused with stroke or seizures. Your doctor will have to rule out other, more common, health conditions before diagnosing you with migraine aura without pain. A migraine diary is an important tool in helping your doctor accurately diagnose silent migraine.1,,2
Ocular Migraine Vs Retinal Migraine
The terms ocular migraine and retinal migraine are often used to mean the same thing. But to be precise, a retinal migraine is a rare type of ocular migraine.
Its also worth differentiating the term visual migraine, in which the migraine affects an area of the brain that involves vision. This may result in aura affecting sight in both eyes, not just one.
Read Also: Does Cream Of Tartar Help With Migraines
Why Do I Get A Headache After Eating
Headache is one of the most common ailments that anyone can suffer from at any given time. There are different types and degrees of intensity, from mild pain, which can be the result of physical or mental effort, to a disabling migraine that is difficult to bear. Also, there are people who experience headaches after eating food.
If you experience a headache after meals, it is very important to know the causes. Sowhy do I get a headache after eating? If the pain recurs frequently, we recommend that you go to the doctor for a diagnosis and start treatment. In addition, in this oneHOWTO article we tell you what are the main causes of headache after eating and what you can do to reduce or eliminate it.
Changes In Or An Irregular Sleep Schedule
The connection between migraine and sleep is undeniable. Sleep renews and repairs all parts of the bodyincluding the brainso it makes sense that when your sleep schedule becomes irregular, you are more prone to migraine attacks. Something else to note when it comes to sleep: Nearly half of all migraine attacks occur between 4:00am and 9:00am, putting people at a greater risk for developing a sleep disorder.
How to cope: Try to go to bed at the same time every night, and aim to get at least 7-8 hours of sleep. Eliminate TV, texting, reading, and listening to music while in bed, and try your best not to nap during the day. This article from the AMF Resource Library has great information and tips on how to make a sleep plan that works with your lifestyle.
Don’t Miss: Can Low Blood Pressure Cause Migraines
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:
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.
Common Causes Of Migraines
The trigeminal nerve in your head runs your eyes and mouth. It also helps you feel sensations in your face and is a major pathway for pain. Your levels of a chemical called serotonin may fall at the start of a migraine, and this nerve can release chemicals called neurotransmitters that travel to your brain and cause pain.
You May Like: Ear Piercing That Relieves Migraines
Headaches Or Migraine Attacks That Occur Following Vaccination Can Be Treated As Usual
After getting the vaccine, if a person has a headache, they can take either their regular migraine abortive drug or an over-the-counter medication to help ease any of the symptoms, says Estemalik.
There was initial concern that if you took an over-the-counter medication after your vaccine that it might make it less effective, but there isnt evidence to support that, says Strauss.
Since people can manage any headache that may come on as a side effect of the vaccine with their normal medications, I hope that takes a little of the fear away. This headache might last longer than what youre used to, but you can certainly treat it, she says.
How Can I Tell If I Have A Migraine Or A Sinus Headache
Many people confuse a sinus headache with a migraine because pain and pressure in the sinuses, nasal congestion, and watery eyes often occur with migraine. To find out if your headache is sinus or migraine, ask yourself these questions:
In addition to my sinus symptoms, do I have:
If you answer yes to two or three of these questions, then most likely you have migraine with sinus symptoms. A true sinus headache is rare and usually occurs due to sinus infection. In a sinus infection, you would also likely have a fever and thick nasal secretions that are yellow, green, or blood-tinged. A sinus headache should go away with treatment of the sinus infection.
Don’t Miss: How To Cure Migraine Naturally
What You Need To Know About Migraines
Many times, migraines will simply run their course without causing any serious complications. However, in rare cases, these symptoms can lead to vision loss or even loss of life. People with migraines should stay clear of caffeinated beverages like coffee and soda. Caffeine is a stimulant and can temporarily reduce the pain of migraines, but it can also interfere with other migraine symptoms.
In addition to avoiding caffeine and going with a natural, holistic approach to relieving your migraines, you should also stay away from aspirin and other stomach pain relievers. These pain relievers will only make your nausea symptoms worse, so in the long run, they are counterproductive. If your migraines do not go away with home remedies, then you should consult a doctor to determine if you are suffering from a more serious condition, such as a brain tumor. Stomach pain can be a sign of something much more serious, so you should always seek medical attention when experiencing nausea or headaches.
What Are Hypertension Headaches
The pain of these headaches is usually felt on both sides of the head and pulses or throbs. The pain goes away when the persons blood pressure goes down. High blood pressure in these cases means:1
- A systolic number of 180 mmHg or higher
- A diastolic number of 120 mmHg or higher
Lower levels of high blood pressure do not seem to cause headaches. Mid-range high blood pressure may lead to headaches but doctors are not completely sure.1
Hypertension headaches are known as secondary headaches. This means that the headache is caused by an underlying health condition. A severe headache may be a sign of dangerously high blood pressure.
Don’t Miss: Side Effects Of Migraine Medication
Whats A Migraine What Does A Migraine Feel Like
A migraine is a common neurological disease that causes a variety of symptoms, most notably a throbbing, pulsing headache on one side of your head. Your migraine will likely get worse with physical activity, lights, sounds or smells. It may last at least four hours or even days. About 12% of Americans have this genetic disorder. Research shows that its the sixth most disabling disease in the world.
When To Get Medical Advice
You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.
Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be effective for migraine.
Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.
You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicines, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.
You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:
- paralysis or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
- slurred or garbled speech
- a sudden agonising headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
- headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash
You May Like: How To Get A Migraine
What Are Common Triggers For Migraine
Certain foods, in particular cheese, chocolate, alcohol, citrus fruits, dairy produce, and many others have been implicated in triggering migraine. However, the true link with migraine is uncertain as craving for specific foods can occur as part of migraine, before the headache starts the premonitory stage.
Also, because several factors are necessary to trigger an attack it follows that if other factors can be identified and minimized, then food triggers will be less important. If you suspect that any foods do trigger an attack, cut them out of your diet for a few weeks before reintroducing them.
Delayed or missed meals often result in a relative drop in blood sugar, triggering migraine. This is usually the most important trigger in children particularly when they are going through a growth spurt or involved in strenuous exercise. It explains why many children come home from school with a bad headache they just havent had sufficient to eat, often enough. But insufficient food may also be an important migraine trigger in adults.
Mild dehydration can have an impact on people who have migraine. It is recommended that you should drink at least 8 glasses of water per day. This is in addition to any other drinks you may have. Fizzy drinks can contain the sweetener aspartame, which some people link to their migraines.
Change in routine
Is Retinal Migraine Dangerous
Most often, a retinal migraine attacks will subside after a short time with no lasting harm, though it can affect your ability to drive safely.
Still, its worth discussing with your doctor and potentially getting an eye examination to look into potential causes and rule out more serious concerns, such as a stroke in the eye.
If its never happened before, losing vision in both eyes at the same time may also be a sign of a more serious problem.
Your head may start to hurt at the same time a retinal migraine affects your vision or up to 1 hour later, or you may not experience a headache at all.
The same is true for the more common migraine with aura.
Retinal migraine is considered relatively rare. Its more common for a different type of migraine to affect vision in both eyes, not just one.
Older research from 2005 puts the frequency at about
Also Check: Tylenol Caffeine Migraine
Preservatives And Flavor Enhancers
Sometimes, it is not a food in itself that can cause a headache after eating but the ingredients with which it has been treated for its conservation. The excessive presence of nitrites and nitrates, as well as the monosodium glutamate, could be behind the discomfort and headache after eating some cold cuts, ultra-processed products, pre-cooked dishes, soups or some sauces that are sold already prepared.
Don’t Miss Interviews With Dr Amaal Starling + More Experts On The 2019 Migraine World Summit
Paula: Are there any other non-oral treatments, like some of the neuromodulation devices, that would be appropriate for somebody who’s got nausea and vomiting with their attacks?
Dr. Starling: Yes, so the other concept is that if we can treat early, then we may be able to prevent nausea and vomiting from occurring. Some of the neuromodulation devices, like the single-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation device, are recommended for early treatment.
Studies have shown that if we treat early with that device, we’re able to prevent nausea and vomiting from even occurring.
Paula: Are there any options that might work for a stomach ache with a Migraine attack, like ginger?
Dr. Starling: I’m a proponent of anything that is not a medication that can be added onto medication treatments or non-oral treatments for pain as well as for nausea and vomiting. Ginger can be helpful.
Some patients have used B6 which can be helpful as well for nausea. Other patients have used the Sea-Bands that activate acupressure points. Other individuals will simply use acupressure points and acupuncture to help with nausea and vomiting.
Paula: Anything else you would like to add about overcoming nausea and vomiting?
Dr. Starling: The one thing that I really would like to emphasize is how debilitating nausea and vomiting is. I want to emphasize this to empower patients to make sure that when you meet with your doctor, that you talk to them about your treatment options for your GI symptoms.
Don’t Miss: Are Migraines A Symptom Of Pregnancy
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.