Migraine headache is one of the most painful headaches that you can ever feel and it is usually accompanied by other symptoms. Migraine headache is characterized as having pounding and throbbing pain on the head with severe intensity; nevertheless, the severity usually differs from person to person. The pain is sometimes described as dull aching pain that can occur on one or both sides of the head. Headaches related to migraine usually last from 4 hours to several days and can occur more than 4 times in a month although most people with migraine experience it at most once a week.
Migraine is commonly described as debilitating because patients usually feel severe pain that tend to disrupt their activities of daily living. Aside from pain, other symptoms may cause more intense feeling of pain including:
• Nausea and vomiting
Migraines can occur along with gastrointestinal disturbances and may lead to vomiting. This symptom usually differentiate migraine headache from other types of headache because it is the only one that can give a feeling of being nauseated.
• Sensitivity to light
During migraine attacks, one can also be more sensitive to light, which may intensify the feeling of headache. It is in this line that migraine is also described as blinding pain because the headache is accompanied by severe sensitivity to light.
• Sensitivity to noise and odor
Along with light sensitivity, migraine can also occur along with noise and odor sensitivity that add to the disruption in the daily activities and overall quality of life.
• Light headedness
When one is experiencing migraine, there could also be light headedness contributing to dizziness and risk for falls.
Migraine attacks are commonly associated with reduced blood flow to the brain so confusion may also be experienced as a result of reduced blood supply as well as severe pain.
People suffering from migraine may also report unexplained fatigue or weakness, which may not be predisposed by overexertion. Patients may feel as if they are very weak and tired.
• Neck stiffness
Along with all of the symptoms, there can also be stiffness on the neck. Tension type headaches may also have neck stiffness; however, migraine headaches tend to be more severe and affect the totality of the head as compared to tension type headaches.
• Sweaty and cold conditions
At the peak of a migraine headache, people may also report a feeling of being cold or sweaty even in neutral environmental temperatures.
The Presence of Aura
Some patients may experience a premonitory sign of a migraine attack in the form of aura. Premonitory signs usually occur hours or minutes before a migraine attack and most people with migraine already recognize these auras making them feel anxious of another migraine headache attack. Most aura symptoms involve changes in vision characterized by flashing of colors or light. Other forms of aura include muscle weakness, burning sensations, restlessness, irritability and difficulty communicating.
When you feel these symptoms along with headache, the type of headache that you have may be migraine. Recognizing all of these symptoms may help you provide better history to your health care provider for more appropriate treatments.