Five criteria for migraine include:
- Moderate to severe pain that may be intense at times
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- Pounding, throbbing pain, or pulsating sensation
- Pain may be restricted to one side of the head or both present on both sides
Chronic migraine may be quite debilitating. Various possibly treatable risk factors have been linked to the development of a chronic migraine including hereditary predisposition. Chronic migraine treatment should prioritize prevention through medication and non-medication preventative techniques, as well as addressing known risk factors.
How is a chronic migraine diagnosed?
It is crucial to consult a healthcare physician if you suspect you have chronic migraine. This might be your primary care doctor or a headache expert.
The diagnosis of a chronic migraine depends on the number of days a headache persists rather than the level of disability, so it is vital to keep a track of the number of headache days.
- Sometimes, you may miscalculate your headache days because you tend to consider only the days when you experience bad headaches.
- You must understand that it is equally important to keep a track of days that you consider the headaches to be manageable or not too bad.
- Keep a headache notebook to keep track of all your headache days to avoid this.
If you only report the most severe headaches, you may provide your doctor with an inaccurate picture of your real headache load. As a result, they may overlook the diagnosis of chronic migraine.
If you suspect a chronic migraine, you should be thoroughly evaluated by your doctor to rule out other possible reasons for recurrent headaches. Secondary headaches, for example, might be caused by an underlying ailment or disease, as well as other types of chronic daily headaches. You might have a chronic tension-type headache, hemicrania continua, or a new everyday chronic headache.
Your doctor may diagnose you with a chronic migraine by considering all your signs and symptoms. However, sometimes due to inaccuracy of the information provided by you, the doctor may require additional tests to confirm the diagnosis.
Your doctor may order blood tests or imaging tests, such as magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography scan of the brain. These tests can rule out any other possible reasons for the headache. These tests and your headache journal can assist your doctor in determining what is causing your migraines.
5 causes of migraines
The specific cause of migraines is unknown; however, they are assumed to be caused by abnormal brain activity that momentarily disrupts nerve impulses, neurotransmitters, and blood vessels in the brain.
It is unclear what causes this shift in brain activity, but it's conceivable that your genes predispose you to migraines in response to a specific trigger.
There are several probable migraine triggers, including hormonal, emotional, physical, nutritional, environmental, and pharmaceutical aspects.
These triggers are quite personal. However, keeping a record may help you find a regular trigger. It can sometimes be difficult to determine whether anything is a true trigger or whether what you're feeling is an early sign of a migraine attack.
- Hormonal changes:
- Some women get migraines around the time of their menstruation, probably due to changes in hormone levels such as estrogen. These headaches often occur between two days before and three days following the onset of your menstruation.
- Some women exclusively get headaches during their period, which is known as a pure menstrual migraine. However, most women get them at other times as well, which is known as a menstrual-related migraine.
- Many women find that their headaches improve after menopause, whereas menopause can induce or worsen migraines in other women.
- Emotional triggers:
- Physical triggers:
- Dietary triggers:
- Environmental triggers:
- Exposure to bright lights
- Exposure to strong scents
- Loud noises
- A drastic change in weather
6 symptoms of a chronic migraine
Common symptoms of a chronic migraine include:
- Headaches that range from mildly bothersome to excruciatingly painful, especially when physical exertion is involved
- Aching on one or both sides of the head
- A pounding feeling that causes pressure to be released
- Photophobia, sound sensitivity, and impaired olfactory sensitivities
- Feeling of sickness
Symptoms of chronic migraine are so similar to those of episodic migraine. The only difference between them is that the frequency of headaches is higher in chronic migraine, ranging from 15 days or more to three months. The dose and frequency of medications are increased for chronic migraines because the discomfort lasts long.
3 treatment options for a migraine
Chronic migraine therapy focuses on controlling lifestyle choices and headache causes, managing migraine attacks, and delivering migraine prevention medications.
- Lifestyle changes:
- If you are overweight, it is recommended you lose weight.
- Start a fitness program that has been recommended by your doctor.
- Stress is one of the important factors of chronic migraines. You must manage stress by learning stress-reduction strategies such as meditation, yoga, relaxation training, or mindful breathing.
- Establish a system for meal and snack times; do not skip meals.
- Staying hydrated is essential.
- Begin treatment of any preexisting mood condition (including depression and anxiety) or sleep issue.
- Treatment plan:
- Treat migraine attacks early while the pain is minimal; start with a basic pain reliever (acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen, and naproxen) and gradually increase the amount to the maximum tolerable dose, unless the headache is severe at the start or will become severe. To boost effectiveness, use the above medicines along with a triptan. It is advisable to avoid opiates.
- Treat any accompanying adverse symptoms, such as nausea.
- Consider other treatments such as transcranial magnetic stimulation and transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation.
- Preventive treatments:
Controlling the headache is the hope for people with chronic migraine. It is fair to suppose that with a competent treatment strategy, the quantity and intensity of migraine headaches may be minimized. Many people with chronic migraines may experience migraine attacks again in the future.
There are alternative possibilities for people with persistent migraines who have not responded to earlier therapies. Some people require more intensive hands-on treatment, such as nerve blocks and trigger point injections. Other people, particularly those suffering from drug overuse headaches, require detoxification (the removal of prior medicines) in a controlled facility, such as an infusion suite. People in the infusion suite get intravenous drugs that treat nausea and vomiting, as well as headaches.
The diagnosis and treatment of chronic migraine: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4416971/
Top How Do You Know If You Have Chronic Migraines Related Articles
Can Migraines Cause Fevers?Since a fever isn’t a common symptom of a migraine attack, a fever coupled with a headache may be a sign of another underlying illness, such as COVID-19 or heatstroke.
Celebrities With MigrainesSee how celebrities cope with the pain caused by migraines. Learn their methods used to prevent and relieve migraine pain.
Migraine TriggersDo you have frequent headaches? Learn the most common headache triggers for tension headaches, sinus headaches, cluster headaches and migraine. They include red wine, skipping meals, and smoke. Find medical treatments that work, like diet, exercise, massage, and physical therapy.
How Do You Get Rid of a Migraine Fast?Migraine is a neurological condition that is characterized by recurrent episodes of intense headaches. It may be associated with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and other clinical features.
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
Migraine and StrokeMigraine headache is a type of headache in which the exact cause is not known; however, they may be inherited, and certain foods and environmental factors can trigger and may contribute them. A stroke (brain attack) happens when a blood vessel in the brain leaks, bursts, or becomes blocked, which can be caused by many other health problems. Both migraines and strokes can can cause severe head pain (migraine pain usually is only on one side of the head). Migraine aura symptoms may mimic or feel like a stroke or mini-stroke (transient ischemic attack, TIA) because they have similar symptoms and signs like severe headache, numbness in the legs, feet, arms, hands, or face, nausea, vomiting, and dizziness. Other migraine aura symptoms include vision problems like flashing lights or blind spots in one eye. The main difference between migraine headache and stroke symptoms and signs is that a migraine headaches usually come on gradually while a stroke symptoms come on suddenly and unexpectedly.
Migraine HeadachesIs it a headache or a migraine? Learn what a migraine is, causes, symptoms, treatments, and at-home remedies.
Migraine or Tension Headache? Symptoms, Triggers, TreatmentsWhat does a migraine headache feel like compared to a tension headache? Learn to spot migraine symptoms early, how to identify your triggers, and get more information on migraine headache medications and treatments. Learn to tell migraine from other types of headaches.
Migraine vs. Headache: Differences and SimilaritiesHeadaches are the most common reason why a person goes to the doctor or other healthcare professional for treatment. There are different types of headaches, for example, migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. The most common type of headache is tension headache. Migraine is much less common. There are few similarities between migraine and other headaches, for example, the severity of the pain can be the same, mild, moderate, or severe; and they can occur on one side or both sides of the head. However, there are many differences between migraine and other types of headaches. Migraine headaches also have different names, for example, migraine with aura and menstrual migraine.
Symptoms of migraine that usually aren't experienced by a person with another type of headache include nausea, vomiting, worsens with mild exercise, debilitating pain, eye pain, throbbing head pain.
Migraine trigger include light, mild exercise, strong smells, certain foods like red wine, aged cheese, smoked meats, artificial sweeteners, chocolate, alcohol, and dairy products, menstrual period, stress, oversleeping, and changes in barometric pressure.
Untreated migraine attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours, but may last for weeks. Most headaches resolve within 24-48 hours. Doctors don't know exactly what causes migraine headaches; however, other headaches like tension headaches have more specific triggers and causes. Additional tests usually are required to diagnose migraine from other types of headaches, diseases, or other medical problems. Most headaches can be treated and cured with home remedies like essential oils, massage, and over-the-counter pain medication like acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) like naproxen (Aleve, Anaprox, Naprosyn) or ibuprofen (Advil, Midol, Motrin). Most headaches resolve with OTC and home remedy treatment, while your doctor may need to prescribe medication to treat your migraines. If you have the "worst headache of your life," seek medical care immediately.
Should I Go to the ER for a Migraine?A migraine is a severe throbbing and pulsating headache that causes pain on one side of the head. A patient should visit an emergency department if they have a severe headache with or without nausea and vomiting.
What Causes Migraines in Females?Migraine is most commonly seen in women. Every three out of four women are affected by migraines.
Some of the most common triggers affecting women are changes in hormonal levels or birth control pills, lack of sleep or too much sleep, and others
What Do Ocular Migraines Indicate?Ocular migraines are headaches that are accompanied by a temporary loss of vision in one eye, and they usually don’t indicate a serious condition.
What Foods Cause Headaches and Migraines?Foods that can trigger and cause headaches and migraines include chocolate, alcohol, cheese and more. Learn how to adjust your diet to avoid headaches.
What Is Happening in the Brain During a Migraine?During a migraine, some chemicals in the brain become more active, which send out confusing signals that result in headaches.
What Is the Best Thing to Do for a Migraine?There is no permanent cure for migraine headaches, but there are migraine treatments that can prevent attacks and relieve symptoms. When you get migraines, you can ease the pain immediately by simple measures such as resting with your eyes closed in a dark, quiet room, putting an ice pack on your forehead, and staying hydrated by drinking plenty of liquids.