When you feel pain or pressure in your head, it can be difficult to determine whether you are experiencing a migraine or just a headache. The question is, have you noticed your headaches getting worse lately? If they’ve started becoming more severe and painful, it might be because they are not regular headaches, but rather a migraine. By pinpointing the symptoms of a migraine, you can seek faster relief and prevent them from recurring.
Six signs and symptoms you’re experiencing a migraine:
Pain on One Side of the Head Only
When you feel severe, throbbing pain on only one side of your head, it is most likely to be a migraine rather than a headache which tend to present as a milder pain all over the head. In addition to the pain, you may also find you have tender temples, fatigue, or nausea. The pounding sensation usually gets worse when you move, with the Migraine Research Foundation finding that 90% of sufferers are unable to function normally during their migraine.
Pain with Aura
Around one in every three people experience headaches with aura before a full-blown migraine hits them. This is a warning symptom and typically includes vision problems, such as seeing flashing lights or distorted patterns. Sometimes these issues are accompanied by a tingling sensation in the hands and arms, lips, face; dizziness; speech difficulty; and in rare cases loss of consciousness. Aura symptoms usually happen within 5 minutes of the migraine and last for up to 1 hour.
Pain without Aura
Migraine headaches can also be experienced without aura. This is the most common type of migraine, which doesn’t have any warning signs before the actual migraine begins.
Although more research is required, scientists believe that chronic migraines have a significant hereditary aspect, and most sufferers have a genetic link for the condition. This is especially true if your headaches started in childhood and got worse as the years went by. While more adolescent boys tend to experience migraines than girls, more menstrual women suffer than men. Chronic migraines usually subside after the age of 50. But if yours still haven’t gone away, you must seek migraine relief by seeing your doctor. Some foods, stress, smells and weather changes can trigger chronic migraine attack.
Loss of Sensation
When you feel like you are having a stroke. The severe type of migraine you are experiencing is called hemiplegic. The symptoms include feeling weak on the one side of the body. Moreover, pins and needles in your hands and arms, and loss of sensation.
Pain with Temporary Vision Loss
If you ever experience temporary vision loss with your headaches. This refers to as a retinal migraine that causes temporary vision loss in one eye. This symptom can last from a few minutes to a few months, but it’s usually reversible and is a sign of a more serious health issue.
Seeking Migraine Relief
Some effective home remedies will relieve your migraine headache symptoms. These include resting in a dark room with pillows to support your head and neck. Make sure there are no lights, sounds, smells, or colors to trigger your symptoms while you are lying down in the room. You can also take over-the-counter medications, such as anti-inflammatory non-steroidal drugs for instant migraine relief.
Other treatments include:
- Using pressure or putting cold compresses on the area of pain.
- Taking pain relief medication like ibuprofen or aspirin.
- Prescription drugs, such as rizatriptan, frovatriptan, sumatriptan, or eletriptan, to name a few. These medications will narrow the blood vessels and help to lessen pain.
If none of the above treatments work for you and you still experience migraine headaches for 5 or more days a month, you should speak to your doctor. While some medications can reduce the severity and frequency of the headaches, there are some beta-blockers and CGRP inhibitors that can prevent your migraines from recurring. Only with a detailed examination at your doctor’s surgery will you know about the best treatments for long-term pain relief.