What Is a Migraine Headache?
Migraine headaches are a unique form of headaches that can cause intense throbbing pain or a throbbing sensation in the head, usually on one side only.
It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light or noise.
Migraine episodes can be very painful for hours or days and can be so intense that they cause disabling pain.
Warning symptoms, known as an aura, can appear before or with the headache. These include seeing flashing lights, having blind spots, or feeling tingling in one part of the face, arm, or leg.
In general, migraines begin in childhood, adolescence, or the beginning of adulthood.
Migraines can worsen in four stages: prodrome, aura, headache, and poster, although it is possible that a person does not go through all the stages.
At OrthoNeuro, our Board Certified Neurologists are experts in treating migraines as well as the underlying conditions that cause them and have helped thousands of patients with chronic migraines.
Migraines usually last between 4 and 72 hours if they are not treated. The frequency with which migraines appear varies by person and can be rare or appear several times a month.
During a migraine, you may feel the following:
- Pain in one or both sides of the head
- Pulsating or perforating pain
- Sensitivity to light, sounds, and, sometimes, smells and touch
- Nausea and vomiting
- Blurry vision
- Vertigo sensation, sometimes followed by fainting
There are several factors that can trigger migraines, such as the following:
- Hormonal changes in women – Estrogen fluctuations seem to trigger headaches in many women. Women with a history of migraines often report headaches immediately after their periods or during these when they have a significant decrease in estrogen.
- Stress – Stress at work or home can cause migraines.
- Sensory stimulation – Bright lights and the brightness of the sun can induce migraines, as can loud sounds. Strong odors such as perfume, paint thinners, and tobacco smoke can trigger migraines in some people.
- Changes in the pattern of sleep hours and the time you wake up – Lack of sleep or too much sleep can trigger migraines in some people.
- Physical factors – Intense physical exercise can cause migraines.
- Changes in the environment – A change in climate or barometric pressure can produce a migraine.
- Medicines – Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can worsen migraines.
Treatment Options for Migraines
If you suffer signs and symptoms of migraine attacks regularly, keep a record of the episodes and how you treated them so you can review them with an OrthoNeuro Neurologist.
Even if you have a history of headaches, consult an OrthoNeuro Neurologist if the pattern changes or if the headaches suddenly cause other symptoms.
Based on the frequency and severity of your migraines, your OrthoNeuro Neurologist may recommend several options for lifestyle changes to help avoid migraine triggers.
There are also prescription and non-prescription medications that your OrthoNeuro Neurologist may recommend based on your unique symptoms and frequency.
Make an Appointment with an OrthoNeuro Neurological Specialist Today!
If you have been suffering the symptoms of chronic migraine, schedule an appointment with one of our Board Certified Orthopedic Neurologists at one of our 7 convenient locations throughout Greater Columbus.
We will evaluate your unique lifestyle and goals to determine which type of treatment is best for you. Best of all, most patients can be seen within 24 hours of making an appointment.