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Migraine Information (Home) > Migraine Basics > Migraines and their Symptoms

Migraines and their Symptoms

Migraines are one of those things that we know a lot about without having the answer to why they occur. Researchers are torn between two theories. Some believe that the sudden swelling of blood vessels in the brain causes migraine headaches.  Meanwhile others claim it’s due to a constricting of those very same blood vessels.  Either way they agree that these headaches have something to do with a chemical interaction that affects the blood flow to the brain. Migraine headaches affect twenty five percent of all women but only eight percent of men are stricken with them. 

Most often migraine headaches come up slowly with a bit of a warning period before they become a full-blown migraine. Some people suffer with accompanying symptoms like nausea leading to vomiting. Others find bright light intolerable or loud sounds can become too much to bear. There are some migraine sufferers, in the throes of a bad attack that can feel their footsteps, as they are walking, in the heads. That is how sensitive these headaches make people feel.

These headaches can vary on how severe they are but overall migraine sufferers find the pain very intense. They will usually find themselves a dark quiet room to rest in since shutting out all sights and sounds around them helps to get through the migraine episode. People will recover from a migraine attack within anywhere from a few minutes to a few hours while others will have the headache linger for days. Some have background headaches the day after suffering a migraine. This feels like a dull headache sitting in the background of your head just waiting to burst forward. They do not usually get any worse than that and then they fade away. Migraine headaches are known as episodic headaches, which means that the sufferer feels well between headache events.

There are some people who experience unusual symptoms before the onset of a migraine headache. They see something visual, known as an aura, off to the side, usually the side of the head that they have their migraine pain. For some its lights flashing that they see while for others it vague shapes. There are still other migraine sufferers who lose vision at the side. This loss can also move around somewhat getting bigger as it goes. Once the headache is ready to come on all these types of visual incongruities disappear.

Those who have this aura consider it a sign of the onset of a migraine. There are some who have physical symptoms as part of the aura they experience. It may be dizziness, weakness on the side they suffer their migraines, fingertips that feel tingly or numb and sometimes they even have trouble being able to speak.  If you have any of these symptoms, and have suffered migraines for years without them, do not assume they are the onset of an aura. They are not unlike the symptoms of stroke so you should see your doctor immediately to be cautious.

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VISITOR COMMENTS on "Migraines and their Symptoms":

scotty said,
11th December 06
this really helped me to see if i had a migraine or if i was just getting bad headaches turns out i get migraines!

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