Symptoms Of A Migraine

Symptoms Of A Migraine
Symptoms Of A Migraine

Symptoms Of A Migraine - Although we talk about migraine headaches, the term migraine really refers to a chronic condition characterized by recurring attacks. But just what is it that defines a series of recurring headaches as migraine?

About one out of every five people who suffer from migraine will have what is known as 'classical migraine' which is preceded by what is referred to as an 'aura'. Auras are generally visual, but can also be auditory and also include such things as pins and needles and an altered sense of taste and smell. Most commonly however patients experience zigzag patterns of brightly colored flashing lights, which often begin in the center of their field of vision and then move outwards, or experience a hole (or blind spot) in their field of vision. An aura normally lasts from anywhere from about 10 to 30 minutes and is followed immediately by the onset of a headache. This said, in some cases, the aura and the headache will appear together.

Even where there is no aura in about half of all sufferers there will be a warning of the onset of migraine which can precede the arrival of a headache by anything from a matter of hours to several days. The warning signs will include irritability, tiredness, depression and sometimes a feeling of euphoria or a crazing for either sweet or salty foods. Sufferers will quickly begin to recognize their own particular migraine headache symptoms and will know when an attack is approaching.

In most, but not all cases, the main symptom of migraine is a moderate to severe head pain which is normally confined to just one side of the head and is felt around the area of the temple. The headache will typical changes from one side of the head to the other in a random fashion from one attack to the next and, if the headache always appears on the same side of the head then this should be investigated as the underlying cause may not be migraine but could be something more serious, such as a brain tumor. In some patients headaches will not be confined to the area of the temple but can extend across the forehead, around the eyes or even to the back of the head. In all cases the pain normally intensifies with exercise.

Migraine sufferers are also generally very sensitive to light and sound during an attack and this is why it has been traditional to lie down in a quiet and dark room until an attack passes.

In addition to symptoms associated with the head, migraine can also be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms including nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, a pale facial color and cold hands and feet.

In general migraine attacks will last anywhere from about 4 to 72 hours, although it is not uncommon for attacks to last for considerably longer.

In addition to classical and common migraine which we have described here many people also suffer from complicated migraines and atypical migraines.

A complicated migraine is a migraine which is also accompanied by some form of neurological dysfunction which is dependent upon the area of the brain from which the headache originates. The two main forms of complicated migraine are vertebrobasilar migraine (affecting the brainstem and leading to dizziness, fainting and burred vision) and hemiplegic migraine (causing temporary weakness or paralysis in one side of the body which is similar to a stroke).

When it comes to an atypical migraine it is difficult to describe the symptoms because, as the name suggests, migraines of this nature do note follow the normal pattern of symptoms. In many cases a diagnosis of atypical migraine will only be made after your doctor has run a series of tests to rule out any other cause for your condition and come to the conclusion that this is simply a somewhat unusual (or atypical) case of migraine.

Despite the often debilitating nature of this disease, effective drug treatment is available today and anyone suffering from migraine symptoms should simply call into their local health or medical centre for more information about the medications and treatments available.

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