Migraines can be tough to live with. As people who suffer with them will tell you, an attack can have a serious effect a sufferer’s everyday life. Although temporary, the pain involved can get in the way of work, and impede what a sufferer chooses to do in their spare time.
So – what is a migraine, and how can you tell if you’re getting them? Some people make the mistake of defining a migraine simply as a strong headache, but in many cases it’s much more than that. There are several different types of migraine, and some may not even involve a headache at all, but include numerous other symptoms.
Unfortunately a close relative has also suffered from migraines over the last 20 years. The pain appears at random times thourhgout the month and sometimes can last for days.
Below are the five stages which a migraine sufferer will commonly experience. There are others and this varies between people however the list below will be the case for most people. Every person will experience each stage
This is the initial stage of migraine, where a sufferer may undergo mood swings and changes in behaviour, while also experiencing fluctuating energy levels and decreased appetite. Bodily aches and pains may also be felt at this stage, before the onset of more serious symptoms.
In many cases, but not all, a person may experience symptoms of ‘aura’. Typically enduring for an hour or less, this stage can include impaired vision, blind spots, bright flashes and problems focussing.
While some may suffer from ‘silent’ migraines, which don’t involve a headache, most will experience very severe throbbing head pain. This might be confined to just one side of the head and last for two or three days. Feelings of nausea and vomiting, along with a need to avoid strong light and sound sources usually accompany the headache.
This is the point where the level of pain decreases. Some may even experience a sudden drop in pain after vomiting or after waking from a good night’s sleep. On a personal note, a close relative who suffers from migraines generally gets relief from having a good sleep across a few days.
After the pain has passed, sufferers will often feel drained and exhausted.
Luckily, treatment is available to help many migraine sufferers. Most may find that they can manage pain symptoms with over-the-counter medications like ibuprofen. However, in more serious cases, a visit to the doctor may be necessary – a prescription pain relief may able to help in instances where milder treatments are not working effectively. Rather than issuing a very strong pain reliever such as tramadol or codeine, a doctor may prescribe a tryptan-based, migraine-specific treatment such as Relpax, as it will likely be more suitable.
If you are suffering with migraines and concerned about coping with symptoms, consult your doctor for advice. There are many treatments and lots of medicine available to assist sufferers of migraines.
- License: Royalty Free or iStock source: http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/images/results.aspx?qu=migraine&ex=2#ai:MP900425256|
Richard, the author of this article is a professional writer who has been prescribed Co-Codamol medicine by his doctor. He purchases his medicine from Express Doctor in the UK.