Migraines: Symptoms, Causes, and When to Call a Doctor

Migraines: Symptoms, Causes, and When to Call a Doctor

A migraine is a neurological condition that can manifest in many different symptoms. Frequently characterized by intense, debilitating headaches, migraine symptoms may encompass nausea, vomiting, difficulty speaking, tingling or numbness, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines typically run in families and can affect people of all ages. Migraine headaches are generally diagnosed based on reported symptoms, a patient’s clinical history, and through ruling out other causes of the symptoms. There are two main categories of migraine headaches: those without aura (also known as common migraines), and those with aura (also known as classic migraines).

Migraines may start in childhood, or they may not begin until early adulthood. Family history is one of the biggest risk factors for having the condition, and women are also more likely than men to have this condition.

Symptoms Of Migraines

Migraine symptoms may manifest a day or two before the headache itself does. This is known as the prodrome stage. During this stage, symptoms can include:
Food cravings
Frequent yawning
Fatigue or low energy
Neck stiffness

In migraines with aura, the aura typically happens after the prodrome stage occurs. In an aura, problems with vision, sensation, movement, and speech may occur. Some problems that may occur include feeling a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms, or legs, seeing shapes, light flashes, or bright spots, difficulty speaking clearly, and temporarily losing your vision. The attack phase commonly follows, which is the most severe of the phases and when the actual migraine pain happens. In certain people, the attack phase can overlap or occur during an aura. Attack phase symptoms can last anywhere from hours to days. Symptoms of a migraine can vary from person to person, and can include increased sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness or feeling faint, nausea,pulsing and throbbing head pain, pain on one side of your head, either on the left side, right side, front, or back, or in your temples, and vomiting.

Many headache disorders like migraines can be a real source of pain, but they may not necessarily mean you have a serious medical issue. However, if you have new symptoms or more severe symptoms than normal, then you should consult with your physician. If you have any of the following symptoms, we recommend going to a doctor right away:
Trouble with speech, confusion, seizures, inappropriate behavior, or personality changes
Weakness, dizziness, sudden loss of balance or falling,tingling or numbness, or inability to move your body
Blurry vision, double vision, or blind spots
Fever, a stiff neck, shortness of breath, or rash
Severe nausea and vomiting
Headache pain that wakes you up at night
Headaches that happen after a head injury or accident
A new kind of headache that occurs for the first time after age 50
Headaches that are triggered by coughing, sexual activity, bending, or other intense physical activity
A recent change in your headache symptoms or pattern of attacks

If you are seeking help from a neurosurgeon, contact Neurosurgery of Central Florida today for an appointment.

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