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Identify Migraine Symptoms for Treatment and Relief

Aug 17, 2007
Is it? Is it not? Could it be just a headache? How can you tell it's a migraine? These are questions every migraine sufferer asks when migraines first make an appearance into their lives. Not just that, there are two kinds - the classic migraine and the common migraine. The choice becomes even more difficult as you suffer - which one do you have?

First of all, a migraine headache isn't just a headache. It is usually accompanied by one or more symptoms - nausea, dizziness, blurring of the vision, not being able to face bright lights, etc. Secondly, a migraine, unlike a headache, lasts a long time. From over an hour to a few days if it's a bad case.

More often than not, migraine sufferers experience auras. This is one of the differentiating features of migraines. Migraines happen when the blood vessels which constrict because of serotonin, begin dilating and causing pain in the nerves. A tension headache on the other hand, affects the whole head and rarely lasts as long as a migraine. It is also not accompanied by these other symptoms.

Let's look at the two types of migraines. You have the common one which develops more slowly. Before an attack, there is usually anxiety or depression. There could also be spells of yawning and tiredness or irritability. Once the pain starts, it usually settles on one side of the head.

A classic migraine on the other hand has various stages it goes though.

First comes the prodome stage which might begin with the same low feeling or with irritability like the common migraine.

It then goes into the aura stage in about 24 hours. Here, the blood vessels narrow and there is an aura you see which fills up half of each eye. There could also be other disturbing things like spots, bright flashes, zigzag lights, etc which you see. When it's bad, there could also be burning sensations and weakness. This could last up to half an hour at times.

Then comes the third stage where the blood vessels dilate and let the blood flow into the brain. This is when the bad pain begins. In the classic migraine this could be on both sides of the brain or only on one side. Sometimes there is just one spot that hurts unbearably. Bright light and noise very often aggravate the condition. The final stage is utter exhaustion.

Only a migraine sufferer knows how bad his condition can be. That is why it is important to see a doctor as soon as you feel you have started getting migraines. At least you will have medication to help you through the very painful parts.

It's tough to have your life come to a halt because of a migraine. It's worse if you get them often. It could ruin your chances at your place of work and interfere with your personal and social life, too. That's why a physician's help is essential. Today, there are specialists who have experience in dealing with the problem. It is better to go and seek their opinion than to suffer so much pain.
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