What is a migraine?
Migraines are a type of recurring headache that cause intense, throbbing pain on one side of your head. These headaches often occur with nausea, vomiting, and increased sensitivity to light and sound.
Without treatment, a migraine may cause pain and symptoms so severe that you need to lay down for a few hours or days.
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
There are four different stages of migraines, though you may not experience every phase each time:
This phase begins one to two days before the migraine headache occurs. You may have early symptoms, such as:
- Food cravings
- Mood changes
- Uncontrollable yawning
- Neck stiffness
Unexplained mood changes during prodrome can range from depression to euphoria.
Most people do not experience the aura phase. Those who do may have it before or during the migraine. Auras cause nervous system symptoms that most often affect your vision, sense of touch, movement, or speech.
You may see bright spots, flashes of light, or temporarily lose your vision completely. The aura phase may also cause you to hear noises or feel sensations such as pins and needles in your arm or leg.
This is the main headache phase of a migraine, where you feel throbbing or pulsing pain on one or both sides of your head. The following symptoms often accompany migraine headaches:
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sounds
- Nausea and vomiting
Migraines usually last four to 72 hours without treatment.
This phase occurs after a migraine attack and may produce the following symptoms for about 24 hours:
Some people feel drained after a migraine, while others feel elated and euphoric.
How are migraines diagnosed and treated?
Migraines are diagnosed by reviewing your symptoms and medical history. The doctor will also perform a physical exam and may take tests, such as a CT scan or MRI.
Some of the treatments offered to best treat your needs and help prevent migraine symptoms include:
- Medications to relieve pain
- Medications to prevent migraines
- Avoiding triggers that cause your migraines, such as alcohol
- Performing regular aerobic exercise
- Botox® injections
- Behavioral therapy
If migraines interfere with your ability to work or enjoy your favorite activities, do not hesitate to call Tarpon Interventional Pain & Spine Care to schedule an appointment with one of our board-certified physicians or go online to learn more, www.tarponpa.com.