Friday, May 09, 2014

How to spot migraine headaches

This article discusses how to spot a migraine headache from other types of headaches.

Migraines are severe headaches that are extremely tough to deal with, but how would you know if you  are suffering from a migraine or just a normal headache? Well, here are the symptoms of a migraine that can help you tell it apart from just another headache.
The symptoms vary
It is important to realize that the symptoms of migraines are extremely subjective – they differ from person to person. Moreover, there are actually three phases to a migraine – before the onset of the condition called prodrome, during the episode and after the episode (postdrome). Here is what you might experience in all three states.
Before a migraine starts
Some people report experiencing depression, irritability, excessive hunger, thirst, feeling of euphoria (in some cases), and restlessness and nervousness.
Another phenomenon of a migraine is that some people notice an aura. People notice this about thirty minutes before a migraine strikes and it usually appears as wavy lines, or a bright flashes of light. Some of them also experience a ‘pins-and-needles’ sensation down one’s hands, arms and face.
During the migraine:
This is usually the most painful and debilitating part of the condition. A person suffering from it will notice the following symptoms:
  • Throbbing pain on one or both side of one’s head
  • Pain behind the ears
  • A headache that is extremely severe and inhibits normal activity
  • Pain that gets worse with normal, everyday activity
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain that gets worse when there is light, too much sound, and sensitivity to some smells.
While these are the most common symptoms, there are other uncommon symptoms like tingling around the face, arms and shoulders, inability to speak and experiencing temporary weakness on one side of the body.
After the migraine:
After the migraine has passed patients usually feel tired, fatigued and in some cases dizzy. There are rare cases where some people feel euphoric after an episode of migraine.
But, not all headaches are migraines:
While these are the most common symptoms of a migraine, a severe headache can also be a sign of other more serious conditions. If you experience sudden ‘thunderclap’ (extremely painful) headaches, a headache with fever, confusion and disorientation or those kinds of headaches that get worse on coughing or exertion etc, visit your doctor  immediately. They could be a sign of something far more serious.
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