Many people think migraines are just more painful headaches, but they couldn’t be more wrong. According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraines aren’t even the same type of disorder as regular headaches! Many people have migraines without getting them treated. If you have the following symptoms, you might be one of those people:
- Your head pain is severe and intense—hard to endure, may be unbearable.
- Your head pain causes throbbing sensations, often on one side of your head.
- You experience nausea and vomiting, and sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
- Your head pain gets worse with physical activity or any movement.
- Your head pain is severe enough to make you miss work or other activities or keep you from being at your best when you do those activities.
- It lasts a long time, anywhere from 4 hours to several days.
Another interesting thing about migraines is that sometimes, people experience blurry vision, vision loss, or auras before they feel any pain. If that describes your experience, then you should see a neurologist about possible treatment for migraines.
There are two ways to treat a migraine – preventative treatments and acute/as needed treatments. Preventative treatments can include things like lifestyle changes, avoiding triggers, behavioral therapy, physical therapy, and even Botox. While these methods won’t completely get rid of migraines, they can reduce their severity by as much as 50%.
When a migraine hits, you can try to treat it with medication. Sometimes, over-the-counter (OTC) types such as Excedrin can work if you catch it early enough. If the pain is so severe that OTCs don’t work, you should see your doctor or a specialist for prescription medication.
Migraine Research and Cure
Currently, there isn’t much funding for migraine research because the money goes toward, what are considered to be more serious, chronic illnesses. This means is that we don’t fully understand what causes a migraine or how to stop them. Until there’s a cure or a therapy, people must learn to cope with them.