How to Tell if It is Migraine and not just a Headache

Migraine is moderate to severe headache which is may be limited to one side of the head or may involve both sides. Pulsating or throbbing pain accompanied by worsening of pain with physical activity are the characteristics.

Dr Poonam Sachdev
MigraineWritten by: Dr Poonam SachdevPublished at: May 21, 2018
How to Tell if It is Migraine and not just a Headache

Migraine is not a disease of just adults. It can begin at any age; childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. A migraine is a form of a headache in which a person may suffer from some or all of the following symptoms:

  • Moderate to a severe headache (it may be limited to one side of the head or may involve both sides).
  • Pulsating or throbbing pain.
  • Worsening of pain with physical activity.
  • Pain may interfere with your regular activities.
  • Feeling of nausea. It may or may not be associated with vomiting.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.

If the migraine attack is not treated, it usually lasts from four to 72 hours. The frequency, with which migraine attacks occur, varies from person to person. Some people may have migraine headaches several times a month and others can get them occasionally. Migraine headaches can be classified into two categories:

  • Migraines without auras.
  • Migraines with auras.

Migraines without Auras

This is more common than migraines with auras and it is also called common migraine. People suffering form this type of migraine do not show any early symtoms, but some symptoms that a person experiences after a while are:

  • Nausea 
  • Vomiting
  • Yawning 
  • Irritability 
  • Dark circles 
  • Low Blood Pressure
Migraines without auras can last upto 4 to 72 hours. 

Migraines with Auras

This type of a migraine is also called classic migraine. A person affected with migraine with auras can experience changes in vision such as seeing flashes of light and feeling pins and needles in one arm or leg during or before an attack. Some people can experience one or more of the following sensations of premonition (prodrome) several hours or a day or so before a headache strikes:

  • Feelings of elation or vigorous energy
  • Intense desire to have sweets
  • Thirst
  • Drowsiness
  • Irritability or depression
  • The urge to see a doctor

Experts say that migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated in many people. If you think you have signs and symptoms of a migraine, be careful of all your symptoms such as how often it occurs, how long it lasts and how you treated them. Consult your doctor to discuss your headaches and make a treatment plan. It is important to consult your doctor if you notice pattern changes in your headache or the headaches suddenly feel different. 

Read more articles on Migraine Signs and Symptoms.

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