Migraines affect a billion people worldwide, and almost 25% of American households include one member with regular migraine headaches. Midsouth Independent Group (MIG) neurology specialists in Memphis, Tennessee, understand the serious and even debilitating effects of migraines, and they’re ready to customize a treatment plan that gets you back to a normal life. Contact a Midsouth Independent Group neurology specialist for help with migraines now.
Migraines are a serious neurological disease and one of the most severe types of headaches. While other headaches can keep you down for a while, migraines can be truly incapacitating. More than 90% of people who have regular migraines aren't functional during a migraine attack.
A migraine headache can have four stages, each with different symptoms. You may not experience every stage with every migraine.
Prodrome typically happens a day or two before migraine symptoms start. Some common signs of prodrome include mood swings, increased thirst, and a stiff neck; about 33% of people with migraines experience prodrome.
An aura is a sensory disturbance, often of a visual nature. Common aura symptoms can include blind spots in your vision, flashing lights, partial or total vision loss, and seeing zig-zag shapes.
Aura symptoms can also include skin tingling, hearing sounds that aren't real, smelling scents that aren't real, and other sensory issues.
About 25% of migraines include aura. The aura stage of migraine happens before the headache but may continue with it.
The attack phase of a migraine involves severe throbbing head pain, which typically happens on one side of your head but sometimes on both sides. The pain frequently occurs along with symptoms like light sensitivity, nausea, vomiting, and feelings of lightheartedness. The attack phase lasts from 4-72 hours.
The postdrome phase occurs as your migraine ends. It's common to feel mentally exhausted, disoriented, and physically weak in this phase.
Migraine symptom severity can vary from one headache to the next.
Researchers are still studying the exact causes of migraines, but it's likely that genetics and environment play significant roles.
Nerves and brain chemicals may both play a role, which explains why neurology specialists are the best doctors to treat migraine headaches.
There are many different triggers (exposures) that kick off migraines. They include stress, fatigue, hormone fluctuations, red wine, aged cheese, and sleep deprivation, to name a few.
Migraine treatment depends on how frequent and severe your migraines are as well as other individual factors. Many people experience migraine relief with preventive medications, as-needed medications, or a combination of the two. Diet and lifestyle changes may also significantly help decrease migraine occurrence.
For severe migraines that don't respond to medication or other therapies, your MIG provider may recommend other options, such as Botox® injections, to reduce your number of headache days by about half.
No matter what treatment path you choose, avoiding your triggers is very important.
If you have chronic migraines, contact a Midsouth Independent Group neurology provider to book your appointment today.