Migraine Headaches – Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

People experience severe pain on one side of the head when they are suffering from migraine headaches. Along with the pain, people will experience the following side effects such as

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Extreme sensitivity to light and sound


You are unable to do your daily chores as this migraine headache can last for long hours. Several people experience an aura before they are attacked by the migraine headache. An aura is considered as a warning symptom of a migraine headache. It is often accompanied by the

  • Visual disturbances
  • Flashes of light
  • Blind spots
  • Tingling on one side of the face
  • Tingling on one side of an arm
  • Unable to speak clearly

There are several medications are available in the health stores to ease the symptoms of a migraine headache and reduce the severeness of the pain. In order to get the best results, we would advise you to make some lifestyle modifications while taking the medications. it has been observed in a study that surgical decompression of the nerves can reduce the severeness of migraines in the people who are suffering from migraine headaches.

What are the indicators of a migraine headache?

As per medical professionals, migraine headaches are divided into 4 stages. These include

  • Prodrome
  • Aura
  • Attack
  • Post-drome

Frequent yawning, constipation, frequent urination, mood shifting, neck stiffness, and food cravings are the symptoms of a prodrome stage. People experience these symptoms 1 or 2 days before a migraine attack.

Uncontrollable jerking, visual phenomena, hearing noises or music, loss of vision, unable to speak, pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg, and weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body are the symptoms of an aura. People experience these symptoms during the migraine attack and these are considered as the reversible indicators of the nervous system.

Nausea, vomiting, pain on one side of the head, sensitivity to sound, light, smell, and touch are the symptoms of the attack stage. People experience these symptoms up to seventy-two hours if they left untreated.

Post-drome is the last stage in migraine headaches. During this stage, you will feel drained and have a lot of confusion on the day you attacked by the migraine headache.

When to Consult a Physician

When you are experiencing the above symptoms of a migraine headache, we would advise you to speak with your healthcare provider immediately. Keep a record of the migraine headache if you are frequently experiencing the signs of it. Consult your doctor and discuss the treatment options for your problem.

What are the causes of migraine headaches?

The main cause of a migraine attack is still unknown to the researchers. One thing is clear that genetics and environmental factors play a vital role in a migraine attack. Alterations in the brainstem and its movements with a nerve known as trigeminal can contribute to the cause of a migraine headache. Imbalances of brain chemicals such as serotonin, dopamine can increase your pain when you are attacked by a migraine headache.

Researchers are conducting several studies to find out the connection between brain chemicals and migraine headaches. Other neurotransmitters also can play a vital role during a migraine attack.

What are the triggers of migraine headaches?

Even though, researchers haven’t found the main cause of a migraine attack. However, there are some triggers we would like you to keep in mind.

Bright lights, long drives, severe heat, excessive use of alcohol, low water levels in the body, addicted to smoking, alterations in the pressure of barometric, certain foods, hormonal imbalances in the body, bad smells, unable to handle stress, usage of certain drugs, heavy sounds, difficulty in sleeping or unable to sleep, refusing to eat, and doing heavy workouts in the gym are the triggers of migraine headache.

The above symptoms can trigger the condition. We would advise you to keep a record of your triggers and which triggers can be causing you to experience the migraine headache. Migraine attacks all ages of the people.

What are the risk factors of migraine headaches?

The following are the risk factors of migraine headaches. These includes

  • Family history
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Hormonal imbalances

Let’s discuss the above risk factors in detail:

Family history

If any member in your family diagnosed with migraines in the past, then there are chances of you will also develop the same.


Migraine attacks all ages of the people. But it often happens in adulthood for most of the people. Migraine severeness will increase when you reach thirty years or you grow older.


Compared to men, women are mostly affected by this condition.

Hormonal Imbalances

Women who are experiencing the migraine headache or the symptoms of this condition might begin before or shortly after menstruation.

What are the complications of migraines?

Overuse of pain killer medications such as Excedrin and aspirin are the serious complications of migraine headaches. For instance, if you take Excedrin migraine painkiller tablet continuously for ten days in a month can contribute to a serious migraine attack and the same applies to the following drugs. These includes

  • Advil
  • Motrin IB
  • Triptans
  • Imitrex
  • Tosymra
  • Rizatriptan

We would advise you to visit your healthcare provider before you would like to use the above medication to reduce your pain or manage the symptoms of a migraine headache.

How to diagnose this condition?

In order to diagnose your condition, your neurologist will consider the following things such as

  • Family medical history, and
  • Symptoms

A neurologist is a person who is specialized in treating headaches and other nervous system problems. Your physician will conduct a physical examination and neurological examination in order to diagnose your condition. He or she may also recommend the following tests such as

  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI)
  • Computerized tomography (CT)

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

MRI scan provides the necessary information to the doctor and it is also known as nuclear magnetic resonance imaging (NMRI). This scan is used to get clear pictures of the brain and blood vessels and it uses powerful radio waves and magnetic fields to give the result. With the help of an MRI scan, doctors are able to identify the following conditions such as

  • Tumors
  • Strokes
  • Infections
  • Bleeding in the brain, and other neurological conditions

CT Scan

Computerized tomography is the full form of CT scan. With the help of a CT scan, your physician can rule out the other medical problems that are contributing to your existed problem. This test is used to get the detailed cross-sectional pictures of your brain. This can also confirm other conditions such as

  • Infections
  • Tumors
  • Brain damage
  • Bleeding in the brain

What are the treatment options available for migraine headaches?

A person who is suffering from migraine headaches should depend only on the medications. There are two types of medications available and one is for managing the symptoms and other medications are to prevent future attacks. Your physician may recommend the medications based on the severeness of your problem and the symptoms you are experiencing.

Pain relievers, triptans, dihydroergotamines, lasmiditan, ubrogepant, opioid medications, and anti-nausea drugs are considered as pain-relieving medications. These drugs can reduce your pain while you are suffering from migraine headaches.

Botox injections, calcitonin gene-related peptide monoclonal antibodies, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, and blood pressure-lowering medications are considered as preventive medications. These drugs can prevent the future attacks of migraines and your physician will recommend these medications only in the case of when you are suffering from long-lasting or severe headaches. The main objective of the preventive medications is to reduce how often you get a migraine attack and how long they last.

Lifestyle Changes

When you are experiencing the symptoms of a migraine headache, we would advise you to go to a quiet and darkened room. There are many lifestyle modifications that will help prevent the migraine headaches.

Take a Deep Breath

We would advise you to try some relaxation techniques when you are attacked by the migraines. These techniques will help you to remain calm during the stressful moments in your life.

Maintain a daily routine

Plan your day well and act on it accordingly. Get enough sleep and eat foods at regular intervals. Set some guidelines for your sleeping hours and your eating habits. We would advise you to eat meals at the same time every day.

Stay hydrated

We would advise you to drink plenty of water and it will help you to stay hydrated and it will help reduce the number of migraines you have.

Write a Journal

Keep a record of your migraines. It will be helpful to you as well as your doctor to decide the plan of action. By keeping a journal and writing everything on it will help you to find out what triggers your migraines.


We would advise you to do some physical exercises whenever you have time. But for getting the best results, do your exercises in the morning. After doing an intense workout, your body releases happy chemicals such as dopamine and oxytocin. It is better for you to have a word with your physician before you would like to start doing exercises. Start slowly and increase your intensity gradually.


Migraine headaches are a serious condition and people should identify what triggers the condition. We would advise you to consult your physician immediately after if you suspect that you are suffering from the symptoms of migraines. Staying hydrated and getting enough sleep can prevent migraines.


  1. https://www.fda.gov/news-events/press-announcements/fda-approves-new-treatment-adults-migraine
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25254996

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