It is not always clear whether it is a common headache or the neurological disease of migraine. The diagnosis is of course a doctor, but these 11 signs of migraine can help with the classification:
- pulsating veins
- unilateral headache
- Light points or flashes in the field of vision
- Weakness and tingling sensation
- sensitive sense of smell
- mood swings
- reduced quality of life
- stiff neck
- long-lasting pain
Throbbing in the head
When you have a headache you feel a real pulsation in the skull? When you touch the temples, do the veins throb noticeably? Some migraine sufferers feel like their heads are exploding. In comparison: harmless headache is rather annoying, migraine throws affected people off track.
Although migraine can occur on both sides of the head at the same time, it typically hurts either left or right. If the headache is caused by a sinusitis , the pain mainly occurs as pressure around the cheeks, eyes and forehead.
- It is still unclear why migraine predominantly occurs unilaterally.
- One theory is that this is due to the so-called trigeminal nerve; There are two, one left and one right.
- At the onset of migraine, only one of the two nerves should be activated; If this happens again and again, the one particular nerve becomes the fastest “path of pain” for the brain.
In migraine, slow waves of electrical activity run from the back to the front of the brain. When that happens, the blood flow to the brain is reduced, everything goes down. This leads to the so-called migraine with aura , which affects about 25% of all migraine sufferers.
The aura usually occurs before the pain attack and manifests itself through a variety of visual disturbances:
- Light point and lightning
- color changes
- Lightning at the edge of the field of vision
- colorful zigzag lines
In tension-type headache, such eye problems usually do not occur.
Weakness and tingling
For many, migraine is not just a visual sensation but sometimes a sensory aura. This can be so noticeable:
- Feeling of weakness on one side of the body
Even speech failures such as word finding disorders can be heralds of a migraine attack. The symptoms are similar to a stroke, which is why safety should be called the ambulance. Especially if the symptoms occur for the first time and no migraine is known.
A pretty sure sign of migraine is nausea , which occurs in combination with the headache. This has the following reason:
- Our digestive system is also endowed with nerves.
- In migraine, not only the nervous system in the brain is activated, but also that in the abdomen.
- Experts believe that digestion slows down during a migraine, which could cause nausea.
- Studies also found that there is a link between migraine and gastrointestinal diseases. How exactly is not clear to date.
Increased sensitivity to odors
In migraine, the brain is in a state of emergency and more sensitive to external stimuli. This is shown, for example, by an extreme aversion to certain odors.
Both before and during a migraine attack can lead to depressive moods, irritation or difficulty concentrating. In other types of headache, these symptoms are rather atypical.
More than just a headache
Migraine sufferers are literally taken out of their lives during periods of pain. While headaches of other forms make normal life possible, migraines often require sick leave or even a visit to a headache outpatient clinic.
In migraine, the brain is in a state of emergency and this is the whole body. This results in extreme exhaustion for many, which can last for several days. Not even the strongest espresso seems to help, and there is a reason for this: The brain is busy clearing up the chaos caused by the migraine, all the energies are flowing there, that is.
Stiff and painful neck
This is particularly tricky, because there is a risk of confusion with tension headache.
- In migraine, as already mentioned, the trigeminal nerve is active.
- He communicates with an important pain management system in the upper region of the spine.
- When activated, it sends signals to the brain, which can cause pain in the neck.
The pain just does not go away
Migraine can last a few hours, but sometimes it can last up to three days. In addition, true migraines usually occur at shorter intervals than regular headaches.
Note: If you are repeatedly plagued by headaches, you should always consult a doctor.