Migraine Headache: Most people don’t realize the complexity that might go into a headache. Various types may exhibit multiple symptoms, develop for different causes, and call for various treatments. Once you and your doctor identify the specific headache you’re experiencing, you may begin working towards a solution. So let us dive into migraine headaches and all you need to know about them.
Headaches: Most Common Causes
Headaches come in various forms; to date, there are over a hundred headaches. So diagnosing what might be your cause of headaches can be challenging. But fortunately, headaches causes can be classified broadly into various types, which are as follows:
Headache from Stress
Most adults and teenagers suffer from tension headaches that are intermittently painful and often produce only slight discomfort. There are frequently no additional signs of illness.
Headache from Migraine
Migraine headache pain is often characterized as throbbing and pounding, and they occur from once to four times a month and may last from four hours to three days. Besides the obvious discomfort, patients often report additional symptoms such as light sensitivity, sound, and even scent; nausea; vomiting; lack of appetite; and abdominal pain. A kid with a migraine may lose appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever, and a weakened immune system. Some youngsters who suffer from migraines have gastrointestinal symptoms like vomiting around once a month.
These are the worst kinds of headaches. Pain that is either searing or stabbing in nature may be felt behind or around one eye and may be steady or pulsating. Cluster headache sufferers typically pace during attacks because they are too uncomfortable to sit still. The affected eye may inflame, the pupil constricts, or tears may form. This side’s stuffy/running nose.
As the name implies, cluster headaches occur in clusters. During a cluster phase, which may last anywhere from two weeks to three months, you may have them anywhere from once to three times each day. There is a 15- to 3-hour interval between attacks of headache pain. They are effective alarm clocks. For months or perhaps years, you may not have any headache symptoms. They strike males three to four times as often as women.
Chronic or Recurring Headaches
You’ve suffered from this kind of headache for over three months, at least fifteen times each month. There are several that are very brief. Some events go on for more than 4 hours. Primary headaches often fall into one of four categories:
- Chronic Migraine
- Chronic Tension Headache
- New Daily Persistent Headache
- Hemicrania Continua
Sinus Head Aches
Sinus headaches are characterized by a dull, persistent discomfort in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. Sinuses are spaces in the skull that may become inflamed and painful. Sinus headache symptoms include discomfort, a runny nose, ear fullness, fever, and facial swelling. Unlike the clear discharge in cluster headaches and migraines, the mucus that develops from a real sinus headache due to an infection will be yellow or green.
Now that you know about headaches, let us understand the fundamentals of migraine headaches and what that is all about.
What are Migraine Headaches, and How do they Differ from Other Headaches?
Headaches that throb and pulse on one side of the head are the most prominent sign of migraines, a neurological illness that affects many people. Physical exertion, bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors may aggravate your migraine. Four hours is the minimum, but it might go on for days. Before you learn about migraine or sinus headaches, you should also know about auras.
So, What is an Aura?
Auras are a cluster of sensory, motor, and verbal disturbances that herald the onset of a migraine. It usually occurs in advance of the headache pain, although it may also show up at any moment during or after the headache. The average aura lasts between 10 and 60 minutes. Migraine sufferers with auras account for around 15% to 20% of the population. Fortunately, you can stop or repair your aura symptoms if you catch them early enough. Symptoms of an aura might include:
- Observing dazzling, sparkling points, sparks, or lights.
- There are blind areas in your vision.
- Numb or quivering epidermis.
- Speech alterations.
- Auditory ringing (tinnitus).
- Temporary loss of vision.
- Seeing irregular or jagged lines.
- Changes in scent or flavor.
- A “funny” sensation.
Types of Migraine Headaches and Their Causes
Migraines come in various forms, and often multiple names are used to describe the same thing. Aura-accompanied migraines (complex migraines) affect 15–20% of migraine sufferers.
- Common migraine, also known as migraine without aura, occurs suddenly without warning. The symptoms are the same, but this stage never manifests.
- Aura-only migraine, often known as “silent migraine” or “acephalgic migraine,” is characterized by the presence of the aura but the absence of the accompanying headache.
- Temporary paralysis (hemiplegia) or neurological or sensory abnormalities on one side of the body are symptoms of hemiplegic migraine. When the headache starts to make itself known, you can experience the following symptoms: momentary numbness, acute weakness on one side of the body, tingling, loss of feeling, dizziness, and eye-light changes. There may or may not be associated headaches.
- Retinal migraine (ocular migraine) symptoms include a dull aching behind the affected eye that may extend to the rest of the brain and the temporary, partial, or even complete loss of vision in one eye. Temporary blindness might last anywhere from a minute to many months. You should try to report a retinal migraine to your doctor in case it’s a precursor to anything more severe.
- When migraines recur more than 15 times monthly, doctors call them chronic migraines. Pain levels and other symptoms may fluctuate often. Those who do suffer from chronic migraines can find that using pain relievers more than 10 to 15 times per month increases the frequency with which they experience headache symptoms.
- Aura-type migraines are common in the brainstem. Before the headache sets in, you may experience vertigo, slurred speech, double vision, or a loss of balance associated with this kind of migraine. A headache might cause discomfort at the back of your head. Speech difficulties, tinnitus, and nausea and vomiting are common side effects of a quick onset of these symptoms.
- Status migrainous is a form of migraine that is very uncommon and may linger for more than 72 hours. Both the headache and the nausea may be excruciating. You may have this kind of migraine if you take certain drugs or suddenly stop using them.
Stages of Migraine Headache
The four phases are the prodrome (premonitory), aura (visual disturbance), headache, and postdrome. So, here is all you need to know about the stages of migraine headaches:
- The initial stage, or prodrome, may last from a few hours to several days, which is not certain to occur in every situation. Some call this stage the “preheadache” or “premonitory” stage.
- The aura phase may last anywhere from five to sixty minutes. Most individuals do not experience auras, and in some instances, the headache occurs with the aura.
- The average headache lasts anything from four hours to seventy-two hours. Pain is often characterized as drilling, throbbing, or the feeling of an icepick in the brain; the term “ache” doesn’t do credit to the range of intensities experienced. It usually begins on one side of your head and gradually moves to the other.
- The postdrome period often lasts for two days. Eighty percent of people with migraines also suffer from what is often called a “migraine hangover.”
Migraine Headaches: Treatment
Pain from migraines tends to be persistent and can’t be treated permanently, but at least they can be controlled and maybe even improved. Medication is used for two major migraine headache treatment types: abortion and prevention.
Migraine abortive drugs work best when used during a headache’s first symptoms. When the discomfort is minimal, take them. Migraine pain, nausea, sensitivity to light, and other symptoms may be alleviated or eliminated when you take an abortive medicine, which works by potentially interrupting the headache process. The abortive drug might lessen the throbbing pain since it will narrow your blood vessels and return them to normal.
When severe headaches occur more than four times a month and cause considerable disruption to daily life, your doctor may prescribe preventive (prophylactic) drugs. Medication to prevent headaches may lessen their frequency and intensity, and Migraine preventative medication is often used daily.
Migraine headaches may be so debilitating that they prevent sufferers from engaging in everyday activities. Fortunately, there are measures you may take to lessen the severity of migraine or perhaps avoid them altogether. Please consult your doctor about ways to manage your migraines so they don’t control your life.
Migraine Headache FAQs
Is Migraine A Headache?
Yes, Migraine is a kind of headache. It is mainly associated with a throbbing pain on one side of the head.
How Long Will My Migraines Last?
It’s possible that migraines can be permanent since they are chronic headaches. But migraines related to menstruation may subside as menopause sets in.
Are Migraine Headaches Genetic Or Environmental?
Migraine headaches are mostly a combination of both genetic and environmental circumstances.
What Causes Migraine Headaches?
Migraine headaches have a complex and poorly understood origin. Certain nerves in your blood vessels are responsible for transmitting pain signals to your brain, causing a headache. As a result, your head’s blood vessels and neurons are exposed to inflammatory chemicals.
Is A Migraine Different Than A Headache?
No. Headaches can be considered a symptom of migraines. It can be accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea as well.