If you have ever suffered from a migraine headache, you know how debilitating migraine symptoms can become. Migraine headaches and migraine symptoms usually have an initial onset during childhood or puberty, or even during early adulthood, although some adults can begin experiencing their first migraines later on in life.
An a typical migraine headache tends to produce common migraine symptoms that most people experience, although migraine symptoms can vary among sufferers, and some migraines may be worse than others.
Most migraines run their course within a few hours while more severe migraines can last as long as three days. Some people experience migraine headaches more frequently than others, while some chronic sufferers may have headaches only a few times each month. Migraine symptoms often include:
Mild to severe pain in one part of the head, or in one part of the head, both sides, or even the entire head.
- Throbbing or pulsating head pain.
- Pain that is worsened by physical activity.
- Pain that causes interference in daily activity.
- Pain that is accompanied by nausea, sometimes accompanied by vomiting.
- Light sensitivity.
- Sound sensitivity.
Symptoms of Migraine with Auras
As mentioned above, not all people who have symptoms of migraine will have the same symptoms, and not every migraine headache, even when experienced by one individual will be the same.
Some sufferers of migraines will have migraines with auras – which involve flashing lights, sensations of pins and needles in the arms and/or legs, and visual changes or changes to visual acuity.
Both migraine sufferers who experience auras and those who do not experience auras may have a prodrome, which is a premonition that occurs before the onset of the migraine symptoms.
Prodrome may occur hours or days before the onset of migraine headache symptoms, and may involve feelings of drowsiness, depression, irritability, intense bursts of energy, undue feelings of elation, and cravings for sweets.
Migraine Headache – Visiting Your Physician
Many people have become so accustomed to migraine headache symptoms that they haven’t sought treatment from their doctor for their problem.
And though it is true that not all symptoms of migraine necessitate a visit to your personal physician, you should keep a record of the migraine symptoms that you experience and the methods that you used to treat your migraines for when you do visit your doctor so that you can make an accurate representation of the extent of your problem.
This will allow your doctor to make a more accurate assessment of your needs as far as treatment goes, and to formulate a treatment plan for the times when you experience migraine symptoms.
If the pattern of your migraine headaches changes, or if your migraine symptoms intensify, it is especially prudent for you to seek medical treatment as soon as possible, even if you have experienced migraine pain in the past. The following migraine symptoms may be related to your headache but may also be indicative of a more serious problem, which means that you must be seen by a doctor right away:
- A headache that has a very rapid onset and feels like “thunder” going off in your head.
- Headache that occurs following a head injury.
- Headache accompanied by fever, stiff neck, rash, double vision, seizures, numbness, difficulty speaking, or mental confusion.
- New headache pain having a first onset past the age of 50.
Headache that occurs chronically and is worsened by coughing, exertion and strain, or rapid movements.
Migraine Headache Causes
Although the science of migraine symptoms and migraine headaches in general is not fully understood by modern medicine, it is thought that genetics and environmental factors may have an effect on migraine headache onset and may make certain individuals prone to developing migraines.
Some research suggests that migraine symptoms may be caused by a change in a certain pathway for pain that is found within the central nervous system; others hypothesize that chemical brain imbalances may play a role in the development of symptoms of migraine – such as an imbalance in the serotonin levels that regulate pain.