Women's Health

Do I Have Migraines?

Do I Have Migraines?

Key Takeaways

  • Migraines are severe headaches that affect many people.
  • Symptoms tend to follow a pattern.
  • Most cases are caused by specific triggers.

Do I Have Migraines?

Migraines are one of the most common types of headaches that affect people. The irritating pain is often accompanied by characteristic warning signs like blind spots, nausea, vomiting, and other symptoms. Migraines are caused by the enlargement of blood vessels along with the release of chemicals by nerve fibers. These chemicals cause inflammation and pain. Migraines are more common in females than in males. In most of the cases, this headache is caused by specific triggers like:

  • Allergies
  • Bright lights
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep or change in sleep pattern
  • Smoking
  • Fasting
  • Alcohol
  • Certain foods

Some of the common symptoms of migraines include:

  • Moderate to severe headaches which may increase with physical activity
  • Experience of aura which include flickering lights, spots, or jagged lines. These feelings may last for five minutes to one hour and are followed by headache.
  • Runny or stuffy nose and watering eyes. These symptoms resemble sinusitis
  • Craving for certain foods like chocolates
  • Throbbing pain on one side of the head. Some people have pain that affects the whole head.
  • Pain behind the eye which make them think that it is due to strain
  • Neck pain – many people complain of neck pain before the start of headache
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Pain intensified by bright light, noise, and smell
  • Pain increasing with regular activity
  • Sensation of being too cold or warm
  • Fatigue
  • Paleness
  • Muscle weakness on one side of the body
  • Blurred vision or double vision
  • Lack of appetite

These symptoms usually follow four stages – prodrome, aura, migraine attack, and postdrome. Some people may have only few of the stages while others may experience all four stages in regular pattern. Prodrome refers to the symptoms that happen before the attack and warn of the oncoming pain. Most of the people who get migraine experience aura. Aura can be visual, sensory, or motor in nature. A typical migraine attack lasts for four hours or longer. The severity and frequency of the headache varies from person to person. After a migraine, a period known as the postdrome, a person may feel completely drained or euphoric. Those who have regular attacks, should discuss a treatment plan with their doctor.