How common are headaches? More common than you think.
Take migraines, for example—they affect more than 39 million people in the United States. What’s interesting, though, is that they’re more common among women than men.
Some of the most common triggers include stress, hormonal changes, and lack of sleep. Certain foods such as alcohol can cause migraines as well.
Think you might be having one? Want to know what the symptoms of migraines in adults are?
Keep reading to learn more!
What Are Migraines?
Migraine is a neurological disorder that’s associated with debilitating headaches. More often than not, it occurs in early adulthood, however, it can also begin in childhood.
Generally speaking, there are two types—those with an aura (classic migraines) and those without an aura (common migraines).
Causes of Migraines
The exact cause of migraines is unknown. With that said, researchers have identified a few possible causes.
One theory is that it’s due to irregularities in the brain’s blood vessels. Abnormalities of nerve pathways may also trigger migraine episodes.
One thing’s for sure, though—it tends to run in families.
Symptoms of Migraines in Adults
Migraines tend to progress through four different stages. Here’s what you need to know:
1. Prodrome Phase
The first few days before a migraine is called the prodromal phase. During this period, you'll notice subtle changes aka warning signs.
For example, you might experience neck stiffness, increased thirst, mood changes, or constipation.
Many people will experience an aura before or during a migraine. Generally speaking, it tends to build up over several minutes.
Symptoms include vision loss, weakness in the face, and difficulty speaking. In some cases, an individual might also see flashes of light or bright spots.
During a migraine, you’ll feel a throbbing pain on one side of the head. With that said, some people may experience it on both.
In addition to that, you might experience sensitivity to light and sound. Nausea and vomiting are relatively common as well.
Depending on the individual, an attack can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
Frequency also varies from person to person. Some people might get them once a month whereas others may experience them several times a month.
For many, these attacks can severely affect their quality of life. Sufferers will need to seek special neurological services in such cases.
4. Post-drome Phase
Following a migraine episode, you’ll likely feel tired and drained. Some people might also have trouble concentrating.
While the headache is technically over, it’s still recommended that you avoid triggers such as strong smells and bright lights. Sudden head movements can also bring back the pain.
There we have it—everything you need to know about the stages and symptoms of migraines in adults.
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