In humans, headaches are such a common occurrence, that it is probably safe to say that at some point, everyone will experience a headache in their lifetime. However, being as common as they are, it is important for one to be able to tell apart an innocent headache, from a severe headache which could be caused by a more serious underlying problem. Having studied in the medical field for the past 5 years, differentiating serious from benign is a skill that is particularly important to my field of study. However, this information is not to used as a substitute for your doctor’s professional opinion.
Migraines are so common, and so annoying to the sufferer, that by the time you are finished reading this article, you should be able to tell for yourself exactly if you are having migraines or not.
Being a long-time sufferer of migraines, myself, I personally can testify that these textbook symptoms are indeed how my migraines present.
My migraines do not come very often, perhaps once a month or so, however, when they come they are so devastating, that I wish they would never come at all.
My migraine attacks usually start off with an aura, occurring about half an hour before the attack starts. In my case, I see bright flashing lights in my left eye, that almost completely obscures my vision and causes me to be almost blind in that eye. This is a warning sign to me that a migraine is coming. Other people may experience other warning signs before they get their headaches.
When the headaches start, the pain is quite severe. I usually feel pain behind my eye, so severe that I feel as though I want to rip out my eye. The pain occurs in one eye, and on one side of my head. This is a typical feature of migraines. If it occurs on both sides of the head, it might not be a migraine. It feels like a pounding headache, and it normally lasts for a couple hours.
While I am having the headache, it is often worsened by noise (phonophobia) and brightlight (photophobia). Sometimes, I might also feel nauseous, like if I want to throw up, and may even vomit.
After the pain has stopped, I feel tired and worn out, sometimes for days following the incident. This is called the prodrome.
Not all persons who have migraines will have these exact symptoms. But often, they make experience similar experiences. Does this sound similar to an incident that you experienced? If so, you may be suffering from migraines.