Migraine is characterized by a pulsating sensation or a severe throbbing pain. It is usually felt on one side of the head. The pain can continue for hours or days together and can be disabling. Nausea, vomiting, extreme sensitivity to light and sound etc are some of its symptoms. An aura which includes flashes of light, blind spots accompanied by tingling felt on one side of your leg or arm etc are symptoms of this disease.
Medication is often not helpful in controlling the pain associated with migraines. If you discuss with a doctor, he may suggest some medications and treatment options. But in the end you will find that everything is useless. Right medicines accompanied with life style changes and self-help may be useful to some extent.
Migraines usually start in the early childhood or adolescent age. They have four progressive stages. They are prodome, aura, followed by headache and post-drome.
Before the onset of migraine you may experience subtle changes heralding the upcoming migraine. They included:
- Neck stiffness
- Food cravings
- Frequent yawning
- Increased thirst and urge for urination
Aura usually occurs before migraine. In some cases people experience aura without any migraine at all. Aura is associated with the nervous system. Flashes of light accompanied by blind spots, zigzag vision and feeling of tingling in one of your hands or legs etc are the peculiarities of aura. These symptoms develop gradually and last for about 20 to 60 minutes. Some examples of migraine aura are detailed below.
- Visual phenomena which may include bright spots as well as dark sports and shapes or flashes of light
- Vision loss
- Weakness or numbness on one side of the body or on face
- Sensations of needle and pins in the leg or arms
- Difficulty in speaking
- Uncontrollable jerking or similar movements
- Hearing noise or music from nowhere
- Sometimes limb weakness also
Migraine may last for 48 to 72 hours if left untreated. The frequency of migraine headache varies from person to person. Migraines are a rare phenomenon and may strike several times a month. What the patient experience during the migraine attack period are detailed below.
- Pain on your head. May be on one side or on both sides
- A throbbing or pulsating pain is experienced
- The patient feels severe sensitivity to light, sound, smell and sometimes even touch
- Vomiting and nausea
- Light headedness
- Blurred vision
The final phase of a migraine attack is post-drome, which occurs after the migraine attack. Most people feel exhausted and washed out. There are rare people who feel elated after migraine attack. You may experience any of the feelings mentioned below for about 24 hours after the migraine.
- Sensitivity to sound and light