Could Your Headache Be a Migraine?

Most people get headaches now and then, but how do you know if it's a migraine? This is a headache in which blood vessels constrict and dilate, releasing inflammatory substances that cause painful pulsations. The mild to severe pain can last from four hours up to a week, two to four times a month. Your headache may be a migraine if you have any combination of these symptoms:

  • Moderate to severe pain (often described as pounding, throbbing pain) that can affect the whole head, or can shift from one side of the head to the other
  • Sensitivity to light, noise or odors
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting, upset stomach, abdominal pain
  • Loss of appetite
  • Sensations of being very warm or cold
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Fever (rare)
  • Bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, wavy or jagged lines (aura)

If you think you might be a migraine sufferer, see a doctor for your treatment options.

Questions to Ask Your Doctor

  • Can migraines be prevented?
  • What medications treat migraines?
  • What pain relievers can cause rebound headaches?
  • What foods trigger headaches?

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