If you are experiencing massive pain, dizziness, temporary blindness — that’s a migraine. It’s surprising that a lot of people still don’t know what a migraine really is and what causes it. Some say it’s a bigger and harsher version of a headache that just occurs at random times. According to www.migrainetrust.org, a migraine is not just any a headache. It’s so much more.
First things first, what is a migraine? A migraine is said to be a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms. Anyone who has a migraine experiences a different kind of pain that is frightening and may lead you to lie still for several hours. Other than a painful headache, symptoms include sensitivity to light, feeling sick, disturbed vision and vomiting. It varies from person to person and it also varies in length and frequency. Some people will have it for 1-2 hours, some will have it for 1-2 days or worse.
Types of Migraines
There are two types of a migraine: (1) a migraine with aura and (2) a migraine without aura. What is an aura? Aura is a term used to describe a neurological symptom of a migraine — most commonly visual disturbances.
A migraine with aura is a common type of a migraine with additional neurological symptoms. Those who have this kind of a migraine may have experienced several symptoms such as visual disturbances like blind spots in the field of eyesight, stars, zigzag lines, colored spots, as well as numbness, pins & needles in the arms and legs, dizziness or a feeling of spinning (vertigo).
A migraine without aura last between 4 hours to 3 days when untreated or unsuccessfully treated. The pain is usually on one side of the head with a throbbing or pulsating pain which affects your normal daily life. Those experiencing this kind of a migraine will likely feel sick and may be sensitive to light and/or sound.
Migraine vs. Headache
Now you know what a migraine is. How is it different from a headache? A headache is defined by www.healthline.com to be unpleasant pains in the head that can cause pressure and ache. It can be mild to severe, and usually occur on both sides of the head. Based on experience, it’s much more tolerable than a migraine but still painfully disturbing. The most common type of headache is a tension headache.
A tension headache is a common type of headache that causes mild, moderate, or intense pain in your head, neck and behind your eyes. Other types of headaches include cluster headaches, sinus headaches, Chiari headaches, and thunderclap headaches.
Living with Migraine
There are some people who regularly experience a migraine. It inevitably became a part of their life and part of their daily routine would include activities that help them monitor their migraine. If you do not want a migraine to be the frenemy that pops up on random times, be conscious of your lifestyle habits and do the following activities listed down below.
- Keep a migraine diary. Whenever you have a migraine, record the date and time it occurred, how long it lasted, and what you did when you had it. It also helps to record what you did and what you ate on that day or specific time of the day (morning, afternoon, evening) so you could possibly figure out your migraine triggers.
- Exercise. They say that exercising releases chemicals that help block pain from going in your head. It also keeps an active mind and body so it doesn’t hurt to add this to your daily routine. Make sure to do it gradually so as not to shock your body with the sudden boost of physical activity.
- Keep meds in your bag. Migraines or even just normal headaches are unpredictable and we don’t really know when they will suddenly come. We have to be ready all the time just in case it’s impossible to tolerate and ignore.
- Sleep. It’s very helpful to have the right amount of sleep every day. This isn’t magically the cure of migraines, but it will definitely keep it away. Or at least it can help reduce the pain.
With migraines, you just can’t help but agree to the saying “pain demands to be felt”. If all else fails, you can never go wrong by visiting your doctor. You can them more about it, and conduct some tests to be sure it isn’t something more. They can prescribe you the right kinds of medicines and give you much more helpful tips that you might find more effective.