Migraines are severely painful, recurring headaches. In some cases, they are preceded by sensory warnings and accompanied by other symptoms. The symptoms of migraines can last for several hours or even days. The issue is quite prevalent; it affects about 36 million Americans, which is roughly 12 percent of the US population. The good news is that with the assistance of a reliable Santa Monica migraines specialist, the issue can be prevented, managed, and even treated in a number of ways. Below are some important things that you should know about migraines.

Symptoms of Migraines

Migraines usually develop in stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. The symptoms vary from one stage to the next. However, not all cases or migraines go through all of these stages.

Prodrome Symptoms

A day or two before a migraine attack, a patient may get some warning signs such as:

  • Food cravings
  • Frequent yawning
  • Constipation
  • Mood swings
  • Neck stiffness
  • Increased thirst
  • Frequent urination

Aura

For some people, the aura may occur during a migraine attack or before it. Examples of migraine aura symptoms include:

  • Visual phenomena such as seeing bright spots, various shapes, and flashes of light
  • Needle and pins sensation in the legs or arms
  • Vision loss
  • Numbness or weakness on one side of the body or on the face
  • Difficulty speaking
  • Uncontrollable jerking
  • Hearing noises

Attack

If untreated, a migraine attack can last for up to 72 hours. Some of its symptoms include:

  • Throbbing pain on one side of the head
  • Increased sensitivity to sound, smell, and light
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Post-drome

After the attack, you are likely going to feel washed out, drained, and confused for up to 24 hours. Some patients may feel elated. If your head is moved suddenly, the pain may return briefly.

Causes of Migraines

There are a number of issues that trigger migraines. Some of them include:

  • Hormonal changes, especially in women
  • Drinks such as alcohol and caffeine
  • Mental stress
  • Sensory stimuli such as strong smells and/or loud music
  • Medication, such as vasodilators and oral contraceptives
  • Food additives, such as sweeteners and preservatives
  • Certain food, such as aged cheese

Risk Factors

Some common factors that can make you prone to migraines include:

  • Having close relatives with a history of migraines
  • Being a woman
  • Undergoing drastic hormonal changes, such as during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause

Treatment

Once you have been diagnosed with migraines, there are a number of ways in which a doctor can help you. In most cases, treatment usually involves the use of medications to relieve pain or to prevent migraine attacks. Some common medications used to offer relief include pain relievers, Triptans, Lasmiditan, opioid medications, and anti-nausea drugs. Some common preventive medications used to manage migraines include blood pressure-lowering medication, antidepressants, and Boxot injections among others.

If you are looking for a reliable doctor to help you with managing migraines in Santa Monica, GreenBridge Medical is an excellent medical facility to consider. Feel free to contact them today for more information about the services that they can offer you.

Cite this article as:
Editorial Staff, "What You Should Know About Migraines," in Medicalopedia, January 29, 2020, [Permalink: https://www.medicalopedia.org/8286/what-you-should-know-about-migraines/].