June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month

Migraine Symptoms and Tips

Migraines, even thinking about them may wipe you out. The pounding headache, the nausea, the light sensitivity. The first step in understanding your pounding, unrelenting headache is knowing what kind of migraine you have. It may be hard to believe this number but there are actually 10 types of migraines. In fact, there are even more subtypes of migraines that are named based on unique symptoms.

Let’s start with the two main categories of migraines: with and without aura. Aura is a term that describes a sensory change that happens before a migraine, like with your hearing, vision or speech:

  • Migraine without aura:
    • Common migraine: A severe headache that happens without a severe visual sensory change. Symptoms may include things like, dizziness, nausea, ringing ears, blurry vision or light sensitivity.
  • Migraine with aura:
    • Classic migraine: A reoccurring headache that happens after or along with a sensory change, like seeing flashing lights, noticing blind spots or feeling tingling in your hands and face.
    • Hemiplegic migraine: A rare type of migraine with temporary muscle weakness on one side of your body.
    • Retinal (ocular) migraine: A rare type of migraine with vision changes in one eye, like seeing colors
      or flashing lights.

Migraine treatment is all about stopping symptoms and preventing future migraines. Keeping a headache diary might help you understand triggers that set off your migraines. It’s important to understand what type of migraine you may have, so by tracking you can be more specific in telling your doctor about your migraine symptoms. They may recommend a home remedy, medicine or both. Here are some home remedy options to consider from the Mayo Clinic:

  • Drink a cup of coffee;
  • Put an ice pack or cool cloth on your forehead;
  • Relax;
  • Hydrate; and
  • Exercise.

If you are struggling with migraines, schedule a visit with your primary care provider. Have a conversation about your symptoms (be specific). From there, you may be referred to a headache specialist, like a neurologist. If you're already seeing a doctor for your migraines, be sure to see them on a regular basis to stay on top of symptoms and treatments.

For more information about migraine symptoms and tips, read here.

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Useful Links:

  1. https://hally.com/2022/06/is-it-a-migraine/
  2. https://www2.illinois.gov/cms/benefits/StateEmployee/BeWell/Documents/June2022/Migraine_Flyer.pdf
  3. https://www.humana.com/dental-insurance/dental-resources/tension-headaches
  4. https://www.bcbsil.com/bcchp/getting-care/health-and-wellness/headaches