When Should You See a Doctor When Having Migraines?

Migraines present themselves with pain that is throbbing and is localized on one side and may have a varying duration from minutes or up to days. The severity of the pain during the migraine can vary from mild to severe and may be associated with other symptoms like nausea and vomiting. Some people experience symptoms like visual disturbances that warn them of an impending migraine.

There are many ways of treating migraines including painkillers, radiofrequency ablation, nerve blocks, ketamine infusion in Ionia, and the use of botox injections. The treatment is individualized for different patients depending on the cause of the migraine and the severity of the symptoms of the migraine.

What Are the Symptoms of a Migraine?

The symptoms of migraines vary depending on the stage of the migraine. There are phases of a migraine, that is, the prodromal phase, the aura phase, migraine attack, and the postdrome phase. The prodromal phase is present a day before you get the migraine and is characterized by symptoms like increased thirst, mood swings ranging from depression to elation, excess yawning, hard stools, stiffness, and the inability to freely move the neck and pica.

The second phase is called an aura and is not experienced by every person with a migraine. This phase is mostly caused by disturbances in the nervous system which lasts between half an hour to one hour before it goes away. The most prevalent symptoms are visual including blurred vision, blind spots, or light flashes experienced in the eyes. Other symptoms include paresthesia in the limbs, unilateral numbness, inability to talk, and ringing in the ears.

The third phase is the migraine attack where unilateral pain is felt in the head which is pulsating in character and accompanied by nausea and vomiting. You may also experience increased sensitivity to light, smell, or sound. This attack may last for up to 3 days but the duration varies from person to person and may occur many times within a month if untreated.

During the postdrome phase which occurs after the attack, you may experience confusion or euphoria and it may be painful if you suddenly move your head. You should consult the doctor for treatment if you are constantly having migraines because it may be a sign of an underlying condition that requires urgent treatment.

What Causes Migraines?

The cause of migraines is mostly idiopathic, meaning that it is hard to point out the specific cause. However, abnormalities in the pathway of the trigeminal nerve which runs to the face from the brainstem are one factor that is thought to contribute to migraines. It is also proven that neurotransmitters in the brain like serotonin also play a role in migraines.

Some things trigger migraines like drinking large amounts of alcohol or caffeinated beverages such as coffee. Stress also triggers migraines and so does hormonal abnormalities in females. Changes in the amount of estrogen that occurs during pregnancy, and menses and hormonal contraception can trigger migraines.

Lack of sleep, excess fatigue and climate change also trigger migraines. Medications like the vasodilators used for hypertension, large amounts of salty foods,  or fasting may cause a migraine. Strong smells, loud noises, or excess light can also trigger migraines. Having a family history of migraines and being above 30 years of age also contributes to migraines.

When Should You See a Doctor?

You should see a doctor if you have a severe migraine that limits you from carrying out daily activities, if the migraine occurred after a physical trauma, or if you are having migraines at an old age above 50. A migraine that is associated with numbness, limb weakness, stiff neck, and convulsions requires medical attention. Migraines with confusion, visual or speech problems, and is worsened by straining should also get medical attention.

Migraines present themselves with severe pain that is associated with nausea and vomiting, as well as visual problems and visual disturbances. Migraines are caused by neurological abnormalities of the trigeminal nerve and neurotransmitters. Severe migraines caused by trauma or present with numbness and neck stiffness require medical attention.