If you regularly experience signs and symptoms of migraine attacks, keep a record of your attacks and how you treated them. Then make an appointment with your doctor to discuss your headaches. Even if you have a history of headaches, see your doctor if the pattern changes or your headaches suddenly feel different.
Roughly 12% of the U.S. population, almost 45,000,000 adults and children, suffer from migraines. Migraines are painful and sometimes debilitating lasting several days or weeks. Symptoms can include pounding pain on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and/or sound.
Causation of migraines includes both genetic and environmental factors. In addition, imbalances in brain chemicals (serotonin) and interactions between the brainstem and trigeminal nerve can cause Migraines.
Treatment for Migraines varies, ranging from simple over-the-counter (OTC) medications to Botox injections.
Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache, and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages.
One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including:
Aura may occur before or during migraines. Most people experience migraines without aura. Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision.
A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. The frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. Migraines may be rare, or strike several times a month. During a migraine, you may experience:
The final phase, known as post-drome, occurs after a migraine attack. You may feel drained and washed out, while some people feel elated. For about 24 hours, you may also experience: