A lot of people think a migraine is just “a bad headache”, but this is far from the truth for most sufferers. Migraines involve a barrage of symptoms that stop people enjoying their life or even being able to function at all. Working is often impossible and you often end up in bed in the dark.

So are you getting migraines? Most sufferers will get some combination of these 5 things.

1. An “aura”

An aura is a sign to many migraine sufferers that a migraine has started coming on. It consists of changes in vision such as spots, lines or flicking lights appearing in their visual field. Some people will get some loss of vision in one eye. Some find they can’t speak properly anymore.

These symptoms last somewhere between five to sixty minutes, after which the headache often kicks in. There are however migraine sufferers who get no aura symptoms at all.

2. A headache

Migraine headaches range from moderate to excruciating in their intensity. They’re usually one sided, pulsing/throbbing and often near or behind an eye. The headaches can last anywhere from 4 hours to 3 days.

3. Nausea

One of the most common migraine symptoms is nausea. When it’s bad, it can make people vomit. Sometimes repeatedly.

4. Sensitive to sound and light

The classic hiding place for a migraine sufferer is in bed with the door shut and the lights off. They may also put the pillow or doona over their head for good measure. All of these actions are taken because sound and light make the headache worse.

Studies have found that this is because nerves from the eye that detect light go to the same part of the brain that gets irritated during migraines1. Interestingly, migraine sufferers are often more sensitive to light and sound even when they don’t have a migraine. 2

5. Aggravated by physical activity

A standard tension headache is often helped by a bit of light exercise the get the muscles moving. Migraines on the other hand are typically aggravated by exercise or even standard daily activities like walking around, climbing stairs or trying to work.

So if you have been getting these symptoms over a period of time, then it’s likely you have been suffering from migraines. There are also several serious medical conditions that can also cause these symptoms though, so always consult with your healthcare professional if you are getting any kind of regular headaches.

If you have any questions about migraines or drug free treatment options for them, book a consultation at Migraine Solutions now with Dr Cameron Kealy (osteopath).