Treatment options include:
- Aimovig (first drug designed to prevent chronic migraine headaches)
- Biofeedback (helps to recognize and prevent trigger situations)
- Blood pressure medicines
- Hot or cold compress
- Nausea medicines
- Over the counter pain medications
- Prescription pain medications
- Preventative medications i.e. antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs
- Seizure medicines
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS is a magnet placed on back of head)
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches can include:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of appetite
- Pale Skin
- Sensitivity to light, noise, and smells
- Analyzing family history
- Blood Tests
- Computerized tomography (CT scan)
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Neurological exam
- Physical exam
- Review of symptoms
- Spinal tap
Migraine with Aura (Complicated Migraine)
Experiencing a warning sign of an impending migraine known as an Aura, which can be visual flashes or changes, tingling, or speech impairments.
Migraine without Aura (Common Migraine)
This kind of migraine has many of the same symptoms as Complicated Migraine, except a Common Migraine doesn’t have the warning signs that Complicated Migraine has.
Migraine Without Head Pain (Silent or Acephalgic Migraine)
With this migraine headache, the symptoms are very similar to the Migraine with Aura. The triggers may be the same, and it may have the same visual changes (light-flashing), dizziness, nausea and other symptoms of a migraine, but there won’t be any head pain.
A cervicogenic headache is one that is caused from pain that starts in your neck or a lesion on your spine but feels like the back of your head.
A Chronic Migraine Headache lasts for more than 15 days per month, but with a noticeable difference in pain level and severity of the symptoms for many of the days. When there is less severe pain, it is often mistaken for tension headaches or sinus headaches. Using pain medications for more than 10-15 days each month can cause more frequent headaches.
Cluster Headaches, considered some of the most pain-intensive kind of headaches, are a series of short headaches that occur daily for weeks or months at a time. They occur in cyclical patterns (cluster periods) and often keep happening during the same time of the year, so people often mistake them for allergies. It commonly occurs during sleep with intense pain centered around one eye. Cluster headaches are known to suddenly stop and go into remission for months or years.
This type of migraine is very similar to a stroke in that people will develop weakness only on one side of their body. It often will have similar visual symptoms as the Migraine with Aura in addition to the prickly “pins and needles” numb sensation of a sleeping limb. The duration for this can be a few hours up to many days. Hemiplegic migraine may or may not include severe head pain.
Ice Pick Headaches
An Ice Pick Headache makes someone feel like they are being stabbed in the head with with somethings sharp. Extremely painful, they typically come on suddenly and don’t last long, usually from a few seconds to 30 seconds. This stabbing pain occurs mostly behind the eye and around the temple and parietal area. Sharp pains in this area indicate the onset of Ice Pick Headaches.
A Retinal Migraine is one that causes a person to lose vision in one eye. It is most common among women during the childbearing phase of their life, in the duration of blindness can be anywhere from one minute to several months. As frightening as the blindness might be, the condition is typically fully reversible. However, the Retinal Migraine can be an indication of more serious problem, and a specialist should be consulted.
- Genetic factors
- Environmental factors
- Imbalance in serotonin levels
Common triggers for migraines include:
- Drinking alcohol (especially wine) or excessive caffeine
- Environmental changes
- Food additives
- Hormonal changes in women
- Hormonal medications
- Physical factors (physical exertion such as intense training or sexual activity)
- Sensory stimuli (bright lights, loud sounds, strong smells)
- Sleep (too much or too little)
- Weather changes
- Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is common among people who suffer migraines.
- Children can also get migraines.
- Migraines can be hereditary.
- Migraines are linked to depression.
- Migraines are the third most common disease in the world.
- Migraine symptoms can include loss of limb function.
- Migraine symptoms can include temporary blindness.
- Veterans often develop migraines.
- Women develop migraines more often than men and studies indicate the pain intensity is worse for women than men.