More than 38 million Americans suffer from migraines, which are often due to neurological problems. Aamr Arif Herekar MD Neurology, in El Paso, Texas, provides thorough diagnosis and customized treatment plans to address the neurological causes of migraines to relieve your pain and restore your quality of life. If you have migraines, call the office to schedule a consultation today.
Phase 3: Headache — The pain of a migraine headache usually begins gradually, intensifies over one to several hours, and resolves gradually at the end of the attack. It frequently affects only one side of the head. The headache is typically dull, and steady when mild to moderate in severity; it becomes throbbing or pulsatile when more severe.
Migraine headaches may be aggravated by light, sneezing, straining, constant motion, moving the head rapidly, or physical activity. Many people try to get relief by lying down in a darkened, quiet room. In adults, a migraine headache usually lasts a few hours, although it can last from four to 72 hours.
Other symptoms — Migraine headaches are often accompanied by nausea and vomiting, as well as sensitivity to light and noise. Some people also feel very sensitive to touch, and may find normal activities (such as brushing the hair, shaving, or putting in contact lenses) painful.
Phase 4: Postdrome – Also called the “migraine hangover,” postdrome comes after the pain of a migraine attack has subsided. Symptoms can last hours or even several days. While not everyone with migraine suffers from postdrome, those who do report it can be as debilitating as the migraine pain itself. Common postdrome symptoms include fatigue, nausea, sensitivity to light, dizziness, body aches and difficulty concentrating. One postdrome sufferer described the day after a migraine headache as feeling like “a mental fog, one so heavy that even routine tasks take on an otherworldly quality.”
What are the symptoms of Migraine?
A typical migraine “attack” involves four phases: the prodrome, the aura, the headache (which may be accompanied by other symptoms), and the postdrome. The exact progression and symptoms differ from person to person.
Phase 1: Prodrome — Many people start having symptoms 24 to 48 hours before a migraine headache comes on. These may include increased yawning, a feeling of euphoria, depression, irritability, food cravings, constipation, and neck stiffness.
Phase 2: Aura — About 25 percent of people with migraines experience an “aura” before the headache. Aura symptoms may include flashing lights or bright spots, zigzag lines, changes in vision, or numbness or tingling in the fingers of one hand, lips, tongue, or lower face. You may have one or more of these aura symptoms.
Auras may also involve other senses and can occasionally cause temporary muscle weakness or changes in speech; these symptoms can be frightening.
Aura symptoms typically last five to 20 minutes and rarely last more than 60 minutes. The headache typically occurs soon after the aura stops, although some people experience aura without a headache. Muscle-related auras may last longer.
Diagnosis & Treatment of Migraine
Following your consultation, exam, and testing, Dr. Herekar provides personalized treatment plans to alleviate your migraines. Depending on your needs, he might prescribe medication to prevent or relieve your migraines.
For example, anti-seizure medication, antidepressants, and blood pressure medications like beta-blockers and calcium channel blockers can prevent migraine attacks. Additionally, Botox® injections can block the abnormal nerve signals that trigger migraines. Dr. Herekar might also prescribe drugs like Triptans to alleviate migraine symptoms.
Dr. Herekar might also help you implement lifestyle changes to improve your wellness and reduce your risk of migraines. He might recommend that you follow a strict sleep routine to ensure that you get sufficient sleep or suggest that you adjust your diet to avoid foods that can trigger migraines. You should also make sure that you drink at least eight glasses of water every day to stay hydrated.
If you suffer from migraines and want customized neurological care, call Aamr Arif Herekar MD Neurology to schedule an appointment today.
FAQs regarding Migraine
What are migraines?
Many people think that migraines are severe headaches that make you feel sick. However, migraines are neurological disorders that cause several symptoms, including:
- Severe headache
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbances
- Numbness and tingling in your face and extremities
Migraines can last between 4-72 hours and range in severity. You might not have the same symptoms or level of incapacitation as other patients.
Some patients experience a prodrome — symptoms such as visual disturbances like auras or halos or abnormal mood, fatigue, or food cravings that signal the beginning of a migraine attack.
What causes migraines?
There’s no straightforward answer to what causes migraines as everyone has unique triggers. Medical researchers have identified several factors that contribute to the abnormal neurological activity that triggers a migraine attack. For example, your hormones can play a significant role. Many women suffer from migraines at specific points during their menstrual cycle when their hormone levels shift.
Other factors that can contribute to migraines include:
- Disrupted sleep patterns
- Certain foods
- Flickering lights
- Sleep apnea
- Mental health conditions like depression and anxiety
Dr. Herekar provides comprehensive testing to assess your migraines and identify your triggers.
How do I recognize a more serious headache?
The symptoms of a typical migraine attack may be severe and alarming, but in most cases there are no lasting health effects when the attack ends.
However, a change in the pattern of headache (such as an increase in attack frequency or severity) or onset of a different kind of headache can be a “red flag,” meaning it could be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Red flags include headaches that occur with infection (which may be accompanied by fever, chills, night sweats, or muscle pain) or new headaches that develop in the setting of cancer, weight loss, or pregnancy. Other concerning symptoms include headaches associated with confusion, double vision, ringing in the ears, a stiff neck, or weakness on one side of the body. If you have any of these “red flags,” tell your health care provider right away or seek emergency care.