When Your Headache Might Be More Than Just a Headache…

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Everyone has had a pesky headache before. That annoying grogginess in your forehead that ruins your day a little bit.

Occasionally getting headaches is a normal nuisance of human life, but if you find yourself suffering from headaches more often than not you should get it checked out. More than four million people suffer from chronic migraines.

What is chronic migraine?

People who are diagnosed with chronic migraines suffer from migraines at least 15 days a month and the person has to use migraine medication at least eight of those days.

A migraine has more intense and different symptoms than a headache. It is possible to also have chronic headaches. Those diagnosed with chronic headaches are people who have headaches at least 15 days a month for 6 months or more.

Both of these can require chronic pain management.

Warning signs

Many people who experience migraines can learn to recognize the warning signs their body gives them before the migraine actually starts.

A few days before the migraine attack, a prodrome phase can begin. During this phase, a person might experience constipation, increased thirst and urge to urinate, mood changes, food cravings, frequent yawning, or neck stiffness.

Some people also experience an aura before they have a migraine. An aura is normally a verbal disturbance that occurs about an hour before the migraine attack starts. An aura may cause you to see shapes or bright spots of light or experience a loss of vision.

Non-visual auras are also warning signs of a migraine; these include symptoms like a pins-and-needles feeling in a limb, feeling weak or numb on one side of the body, hearing noises, or having a more difficult time speaking.

Migraine symptoms

Migraines can cause intense throbbing pain along the forehead. Symptoms also include a feeling of nausea or even vomiting. You may find that when you are having a migraine that you are more sensitive to light and sound.

The length of a migraine and its symptoms can last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

Treating a migraine

The most common way to treat a migraine is through medication. There are pain-relief medications and also preventive medications. Pain relievers like ibuprofen or Excedrin work to minimize the pain and symptoms a migraine causes.

Preventive migraine medications include medications that lower blood pressure, antidepressants, and botox injections.

It is possible to try and treat migraines at home without visiting a doctor. When someone is experiencing a migraine it is important that try to relax and drink liquids (especially water).

Because migraines can make you more susceptible to light and noise, a person with migraine may wish to rest in a dark and quiet room. This can help them relax and relieve migraine symptoms faster.

If you find that you do need to go to a doctor to receive treatment for your chronic migraines, it can be beneficial to keep a record of all the migraines/headaches you have.

Providing your doctor with your “headache diary” can help them have a better idea of what is causing your migraines and in turn know how to better treat and prevent your chronic migraines.

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