Migraine and Headache Awareness Month: Know About the Types, Stages, and Medications

Migraine and Headache Awareness Month: Know About the Types, Stages, and Medications

A migraine is a neurological illness characterized by intense throbbing pain that can leave you in bed for days. Movement, light, sound, and other stimuli might trigger pain, fatigue, nausea, vision issues, numbness and tingling, irritability, difficulty speaking, temporary loss of eyesight, and other symptoms. Because it is migraine awareness month, we are providing a comprehensive guide on migraines and its treatment options.

What exactly is a migraine? What does it actually feel like to have a migraine?

Migraines are a common neurological disorder characterized by a throbbing, pounding headache on one side of the head. Physical activity, bright lights, loud noises, and strong scents will likely trigger your migraine. It might last for a few hours or even days. About 12% of Americans are affected by migraine, and it’s reported as the world's sixth most disabling disease.

What are the different kinds of headaches?

There are around 150 different types of headaches divided into two categories: primary and secondary headaches. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses that can't be detected with a blood test or an imaging scan. A secondary headache indicates an underlying medical cause. A migraine is a primary headache.

Types of Migraines

Migraines chiefly have the following forms:

  • Migraine with aura (complex migraine):

    About 15-20% of migraine sufferers get an aura. An aura is a set of sensory, motor, and speech symptoms that usually indicate the onset of a migraine.

  • Migraine without aura (common migraine):

    It occurs without an aura to offer a warning. Even though the symptoms are similar, the phase does not occur.

  • Migraine without a headache:

    A migraine without a headache, often known as "silent migraine" or "acephalgic migraine," occurs without a headache, but it’s accompanied by the aura symptom.

  • Hemiplegic migraine:

    This headache may occur along with temporary numbness, temporary paralysis, neurological and sensory changes, and severe weakness on one side of your body.

  • Retinal migraine (ocular migraine):

    It’s a dull ache behind one eye that spreads to the rest of your head and a loss of vision in that eye for a brief, partial, or entire period.

  • Chronic migraine:

    This chronic migraine happens at least 15 times each month with varying pain intensity and symptoms. Sufferers may need pain medicines for over 10 to 15 days per month.

  • Migraine with brainstem aura:

    The migraine may cause pain in the back of your head, troubled speech, ear ringing, and vomiting. It may be preceded by vertigo, slurred speech, double vision, or lack of balance.

  • Status migraine:

    This sporadic and severe migraine can linger for up to 72 hours. They can be triggered by certain medicine or medication withdrawal and cause extreme headaches and nausea.

Home Remedies and Alternative Treatments for Migraine

Some alternative migraine treatments include:

  • Lying down in a cold, dark, and silent room
  • Applying a cool compress to the back of your neck or top of your head
  • Massage your scalp and hair
  • Yoga
  • Apply pressure to your temples
  • Meditating
  • Biofeedback

What are the four stages?

Around 25% of persons have symptoms before the onset of their headache. Four phases of migraine in chronological order are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage or "premonitory" phase can last a few hours to many days and may not be noticeable because it doesn't happen every time.

  • Aura: This phase might last between five to sixty minutes. It may not be noticeable or be felt simultaneously with the headache.

  • Headache: The headache usually begins on one side of your head, extending to the opposite side. It can persist between 4 to 72 hours and occurs as drilling, throbbing, or stabbing pain.

  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage lasts one to two days. It's known as a migraine "hangover," affecting 80% of migraine sufferers.

Migraine Risk Factors

Risk factors for migraine include:

  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Stress
  • Medications
  • Sensory stimuli
  • Sleep changes

What are the drugs that are used to treat migraines?

Mild to severe migraines can be treated with over-the-counter migraine medications containing ibuprofen, aspirin, acetaminophen, naproxen, and caffeine. Some FDA approved over-the-counter migraine medicines include:

  • Excedrin Migraine
  • Advil Migraine
  • Migraine Pain Motrin

Migraine headaches can be debilitating, making it difficult to continue your routine life. Fortunately, migraines can be prevented and managed with adequate medical help. Contact your medical provider if your migraine persists, the pain is severe, or if you notice signs of retinal migraine, as it may indicate a more serious issue.

Looking for relief from migraine? Visit us at 8-2-8 Urgent Care, a walk-in clinic in Oceanside, California. We can accurately diagnose the type of migraine you are facing and offer treatments to mitigate the pain. Contact us at 760-216-6253 and our staff will walk you through our self-check in from home.

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