How Do I Know I Have a Migraine?

Migraines affect roughly 34% of Americans, with women disproportionately affected. Most migraine sufferers have a family history of migraines. While some migraine sufferers experience a couple of migraines a month, others have chronic daily migraines with a minimum of 15 migraine days in a month. The exact cause of migraines is still a mystery, but it can be a debilitating condition that can interfere with your quality of life and daily routine.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Lyndhurst for treatment for your migraines. Our providers can help determine migraine triggers and the best treatments for future attacks.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is anything but a simple headache and can be characterized as a neurological condition that manifests a range of symptoms. These include debilitating head pain, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, vomiting, tingling or numbness, fatigue, and difficulty speaking.

Migraines are intensely disabling for sufferers and can affect any age individual. The two common categories of migraines are classic migraines (those with aura) and common migraines (those without aura). Accurate diagnosis of migraines is typically dependent on a patient’s clinical history, reported symptoms, and eliminating other potential causes.

Different Signs of a Migraine

What are some of the signs of migraine that you should be aware of to prevent an episode?

Experience Aura

Aura is sensory changes that can occur before or during a migraine attack. Not everyone will experience aura, but for some migraine sufferers, visual auras in the form of flickering lights, lines, or spots are a sign of a migraine.

Auras can last anywhere from five minutes to an hour before the headache pain develops. According to Migraine Research Foundation, 25% of migraine sufferers have a visual aura that typically lasts under an hour.

Mood Changes

Migraines can often manifest with changes in your mood, and you may experience out-of-the-blue feelings of depression, excitement, or irritability. Some people may even feel euphoric.

Dutch researchers found a connection between migraine and depression; the relationship between the two is bidirectional, that is, migraine sufferers have an increased risk of having depression, and depressed patients tend to have an increased risk of experiencing migraine attacks.

Sleep Deprivation

Common problems people with migraines experience also include waking up, experiencing tiredness, or trouble falling asleep. Studies on migraines indicate that a lack of restorative sleep impacts the frequency and intensity of migraines.

If you suffer from migraines, getting a restful night can be difficult, and unfortunately, sleep deprivation can also be a migraine trigger. 

Throbbing Pain on One or Both Sides of the Head

One classic example of a migraine is pulsating pain, characterized by throbbing typically felt on one side of the head that can also shift to the other side. In a survey of patients with migraines, the National Headache Foundation found that 50% “always” experience throbbing on one side of the head, while 34% say they “frequently” have this symptom.

Eye Pain

It’s also common for migraine pain to rest behind one eye or both eyes. It can be intense and can last for up to 72 hours. Eye pain can often be mistakenly linked to eye strain when a migraine is an actual cause.

Migraines are a common condition and can seriously impact a person’s life. Signs of a migraine can vary from person to person and can also mimic other conditions. Proper diagnosis is necessary for effective treatment to be administered.