Do I Have a Migraine?
Do you experience sudden episodes of severe throbbing headaches? Is the discomfort generally restricted to one side of the head? If you answered yes, you may be suffering from a migraine.
Migraines can be triggered by stress, loud noises, or even strong scents, and they can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Continue reading to find out if your headache classifies as migraine and how to get rid of it.
What is a Migraine?
A migraine is a pulsating pain on one side of the head that usually lasts for several hours. However, these headaches could also linger for a few days. The headache will most likely be aggravated by stress, light, or a specific smell. Since migraines are primary headaches, you do not need imaging or tests to diagnose them.
According to experts, roughly 12% of Americans suffer from migraines, of which 50% are adults. Furthermore, migraines are more common in women than in males. You may experience these headaches once a year, once a month, once a week, or at any other frequency. However, most people suffer from migraines two to four times per month on average.
What Is an Aura and How Is It Related to Migraines?
Auras are groups of sensory, motor, and speech indicators that serve as warning signals when a migraine is on the way. Although most people misinterpret these auras as strokes or seizures, they usually occur before the main migraine sets in.
In some cases, you may get an aura during or after the migraine, and they usually last for ten minutes to an hour. Common symptoms of an aura include:
- Changes in speech patterns
- Seeing bright, flashing dots
- Tingling skin sensations
- Temporary vision loss
- Changes in smell or taste
Note that these symptoms are reversible, so you can get them treated on time.
Causes and Risk Factors
It might be difficult to anticipate when migraines will strike. Stress, hormonal changes in women, daily use of painkillers, and even missing a meal can trigger a migraine attack.
However, some factors might make you more susceptible to headaches. Here are some of these risk factors:
- Stress Level: You are more prone to getting a migraine if you engage in a lot of stressful activities. Migraines are also readily triggered by high levels of stress.
- Gender: Women between the ages of 15 and 55 are more likely to suffer from migraine attacks than men. Furthermore, it is reported that most of these headaches occur before or during a woman’s menstruation period.
- Genetics and Hereditary: Migraines tend to run in families, with a 50-70 percent chance of parents passing these headaches on to their children.
- Smoking: According to the National Headache Institute, nicotine in cigarettes can increase your chances of suffering from a migraine attack.
Symptoms of Migraines
A throbbing or pounding pain is the first and primary migraine symptom. The pain might be dull or moderate at first, but it could become severe if left untreated.
You may feel the throbbing pain move from one side of your head to another, or the pain may shift to the front or back of your head. Other potential migraine symptoms include:
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and odor
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and diarrhea (rare)
How to Treat a Migraine
You can heal or stop migraine episodes before they intensify or become more severe. Here are three easy ways to help you cope with the discomfort:
Staying away from migraine triggers is way better than treating the headache. You can take the necessary steps to reduce stress, take prescription medications, sleep well, reduce alcohol intake, and change your diet.
Over-the-counter treatments such as aspirin and ibuprofen can make migraine attacks disappear in no time. You can also benefit from other headache medications such as anti-nausea and triptans. However, note that abusing these medications can cause rebound headaches and worsen the headache instead of stopping it.
Since high-stress levels can trigger a migraine attack, engaging in relaxation techniques such as meditation, massage, and neck stretching can help relieve you of headache pains and reduce the risk of future migraine attacks.
Migraines can be excruciatingly painful, and they can completely derail an otherwise productive day. Fortunately, severe headaches have warning symptoms, and you can stop the piercing pain with a variety of preventive techniques or drugs.
We have given a lot of migraine facts and information, so now you can play our migraine quiz and see if you have a migraine or headache.
So let’s start with the do I have a migraine quiz!