Migraine is different from a regular headache. When a migraine starts, no one knows how long it will last. As its symptoms vary, its treatment is also different from other headache remedies. It is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, and sound irritation. It can last from hours to 3 days and pain may be so severe that it affects your daily activities. Around 12% of Americans suffer from migraine.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF HEADACHES?
There are more than 150 headache types which are classified into primary and secondary headaches. Primary headaches are clinical diagnoses that can be made without a blood test or imaging. Secondary headaches are symptoms of underlying disease.
The three main primary headaches are given below :
Tension-type headaches (TTH) :- Also called tension headaches, and stress headaches. It is estimated to affect three-quarters of the general population and is very common. TTH is mild to moderate and feels like a tight band around the head. Its symptoms include dull and aching headache, tightness across the forehead, and tenderness in neck and shoulder muscles. Its treatment options are available. Finding a balance between healthy habits, non-drug treatments, and proper medication use is key to managing tension-type headaches. It is further divided into episodic and chronic.
- Episodic tension-type may occur for up to a week.
- Infrequent episodic type may occur once a month.
- Frequent episodic types can occur less than 15 days per month for at least three months.
Chronic tension-type may last for hours. It can occur for 15 days or more in a month for at least 3 months.
Migraine with and without aura :- About 15-20% of migraine sufferers experience an aura, which is known as a complicated migraine. Common migraine attacks without an aura strike suddenly and without any warning that an aura might have.
Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias (TACs) – Including Cluster Headaches and Paroxysmal Hemicrania :- A group of primary headache disorders known as the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs) is defined by unilateral head pain that coexists with ipsilateral cranial autonomic characteristics. TACs also often have involuntary symptoms on the same side or area of the face, such as nasal symptoms, watery eyes, or dilated blood vessels in the eyes.
WHAT DOES A MIGRAINE ATTACK FEEL LIKE?
People experience migraines in different ways and to varying degrees. There are some commonalities, though, that can help you determine if you are experiencing a migraine episode. It is a migraine headache if you have mild pain for hours and it has turned into a severe headache and impacts your ability to do daily tasks. You can have pain on one side or both sides of the head, forward or backward.
FOUR STAGES OF MIGRAINE
Prodrome :– This phase can last for hours or days before a migraine occurs. Subtle changes or signs of a possible migraine may appear during this pre-headache stage. You may experience constipation, mood shifts, food cravings, a stiff neck, and more.
Aura :– An aura is a visual disturbance that develops over time as a result of the neurological system. It can occur before or during a migraine, or it may not occur at all. Symptoms can last up to an hour. Examples of migraine aura are vision loss, pins and needle sensation in the arm or leg, numbness in specific areas, difficulty speaking, bright spots and flashes, and more.
Migraine :– Migraine phase can last from hours to 3 days. The pain of a migraine is excruciating. People may experience them rarely or frequently and they may vary in severity and symptoms as migraine affects everyone differently.
Postdrome :– Known as a migraine hangover, can last for a day or more and is experienced by 80% of migraine sufferers. Although some people describe it as euphoria, the person may feel tired, confused, exhausted, dehydrated, and have body aches during this period. During the transition from migraine to postdrome, the pain may seem to spread to the whole body, creating stiffness and tenderness.
WHAT TRIGGERS A MIGRAINE?
- Hormonal changes
- Caffeine or alcohol
- Sleep pattern disruptions
- Changes in weather
- Certain ingredients or foods
HOW TO PREVENT A MIGRAINE?
Change your lifestyle such as better nutrition, sleep, hydration, and exercise. Keep a diary to track symptoms and the occurrence of migraine. It will ensure that your treatment is more individualized and based on your circumstances and side effects.
Neurological symptoms can be treated quickly using over-the-counter drugs, prescription drugs, nasal sprays, equipment, and other therapies. But consult specialists of Specialty Care Clinics first as they will advise you according to your situation.
Our expert provider at SCC will assist with the best treatment from pain management to sleep disorder care. If you or anyone you know have sleep disorder, connect with us at 469-545-9983.