What Causes Migraines?

Migraine headaches are one of the most commonly treated headaches. Unfortunately, they are often misdiagnosed, leaving suffers with unregulated pain.  Knowing the signs of a migraine can help you have an informed conversation with your doctor about what you’re experiencing.

Migraine Causes and Signs

Migraines are different than other types of headaches because they often occur in phases. Some individuals experience all four stages of migraines, while others may only experience a few. 

Phase One – Prodome

The initial phase of a migraine headache may occur up to two days before the onset of the actual headache. These small changes often lets migraine sufferers know that a migraine is coming.  Prodome symptoms include:

  • Depression
  • Food cravings
  • Becoming irritable or moody
  • Having pain or stiffness in the neck and or shoulders

Phase Two – Aura

Auras can happen before the onset or a headache or during the headache itself.  They are often visual in nature and happen up to an hour before he headache begins.  Many people with migraine headaches do not get auras.  Auras often include:

  • Seeing lights or shadows in vision
  • Losing sight
  • Feeling numbness or pins ia needles and the arms and legs
  • Difficulty speaking

Phase Three – Headache

Migraine headaches can last up to three days and can vary in frequency. Pain during a migraine can be described as:

  • Pain that can be localized to one side or on both sides of the head
  • Throbbing
  • Being sensitive to light
  • Being sensitive to smells
  • Nausea
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

Phase Four – Postdrome

After a migraine, many people feel tired and drained.

When to Seek Help

If you have regular migraine headaches, or believe that you experience the signs of a migraine on a regular basis, see a doctor as soon as possible to address the problem.  Some individuals believe that since they’ve always had headaches, that they aren’t a problem.  If you have a history of headaches, speaking with an expert can help you to get the relief you’ve been looking for. 

Additionally, you should seek help immediately if you experience any of the following symptoms:

  • A severe headache that begins suddenly
  • A headache that is accompanied by a fever, neck stiffness, weakness, or difficulty speaking
  • Reoccurring headaches after a head injury
  • A headache that gets worse after coughing or strenuous activity

If you’ve experienced signs of a migraine or would like to speak with an expert about your headaches, schedule an appointment with NY Neurology Associates today.  Please complete the form linked below or give them a call at 212-987-0100.

Schedule Your Consultation 

Author
NY Neurologists

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