Chronic migraines are a common type of pain that is quite painful and uncomfortable for anyone that suffers. They are so common that the Migraine Research Foundation claims that 39 million people suffer from them in the U.S.
Not even children are exempt from migraines, and even adults dismiss them as just headaches. Painful headaches might be symptoms of a severe migraine. The characteristics or symptoms of a migraine are quite different from those of a headache.
Migraine symptoms to look out for
Migraine symptoms manifest differently compared to headaches, and they manifest in stages. The symptoms to look out for include throbbing pains on one side on the head, nausea, visual distortion or disturbance, and sometimes even numbness on one side of the body.
- Prodrome stage- this stage may be characterized by symptoms such as thirst, tiredness, and mood changes.
- Aura stage- In this stage, you will experience neurological symptoms due to changes that occur in the brain, and the symptoms may last for an hour. You may experience a variety of visual distortions such as colored spots, dark spots, and even sparkles. You might also start feeling dizzy, numb, weak, or tingly in this stage. Some people also experience hearing or speech impediments at this stage.
- Attack stage- This is arguably the worst of a migraine and is characterized by intense and throbbing headaches. The pain might occur on one side of the head or sometimes both sides. At this stage, you might also have other symptoms such as sensitivity to light or even nausea.
- Postdrome Stage- This is the stage where the migraine starts to go away. At this stage, you might feel as if you have a hangover.
Your doctor will likely recommend preventative medication and pain relievers to ease the pain and the symptoms. Some of the likely medicines that will be recommended include aspirin, acetaminophen, and ibuprofen. The doctor may also recommend a blend of pain-relieving medicine and caffeine.
You can try other non-medicinal alternatives, such as acupuncture, massage therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and even yoga. Doctors may also recommend self-care approaches that help you relax.