5 Signs Your Headache Is Actually A Migraine

April 28, 2020

What Are Migraines?

Migraines are not your ordinary headaches. Marked by extreme pain, migraines have certain characteristics that are exclusive to this particular type of headache. The frequency of the headache is also an important part in the diagnosis of the disease.

A migraine attack is split into three phases; the pre-attack symptoms, effects just before the onset of the attack, and the state after the episode. Before the migraine attack sets in, certain signs present themselves like; irritable disposition, craving for foods, depression, changed appetite, stiff muscles of the neck amongst others.

The ‘aura’ occurs just before the migraine sets in and symptoms include signs like impaired vision, hearing problems, muscular pains etc. Since the attack takes great toll on the body, the sensation after the attack is of complete elation. As the body recovers from the extreme pain that it endured during the episode, the person recovers with a much better mood.

Migraines are a matter of serious concern and should not be taken lightly. The exact causes of this type of headache are unknown, however it does have origins in genetics. Due to the gravity of the issue, if you are experiencing migraines characterized by the following signs, it is best to get a diagnosis from expert doctors, like those at Dr Ziauddin Hospital Karachi.

The following are the 5 signs that can help you ascertain if your headaches are actually migraines or not.

1. Throbbing Pain

The ‘ordinary’ headaches have consistent pain that is not concentrated in any specific portion on the head. Migraines on the other hand, have consistent throbbing pain. The pulsating pain is extremely hard to ignore. Moreover, the intensity of the pain is far more than the otherwise headaches as well.

2. Pain Is Limited To One Side Of The Head Only

A hallmark of migraines is that they are limited to one hemisphere of the head only. The intense pain is concentrated in one region only and is very excruciating as well. For some people, the pain extends to the eye of the affected region as well.

However, the other forms of headaches do not present similar symptoms. The pain can be felt uniformly all over the head, or in case of sinus headaches, it is more orientated towards the cheeks.

3. Audio And Visual Issues

Migraine affects the stimuli received by the brain, especially the audio and visual sort. It causes sensitivity to bright light, and it gets near painful to be in a well-lit room. Many people also experience bright flashes of light in the middle of the attack. It can also cause temporary loss in vision as well.

However, such visual sensitivity and changes in the vision are exclusive to migraines only. Likewise, people experience similar sensitivity to sound as well. Loud sounds and music become downright torturous.

4. Pain Disrupts The Entire Life

Unlike other headaches, migraines are completely disruptive. They come with such force that they completely turn the life off of the axis. During an attack, it is nearly impossible for the person to carry out the usual activities, such is the magnitude of the pain.

The debilitating effect of the attack leaves the person drained of all energy and they are unable to cater to their professional or domestic duties. Also, the attack is absolutely draining and leaves the body all tired. Despite not doing any physical exertion, it seems as if the body ran a marathon, such is the level of fatigue.

5. Nausea And Vomiting

Another sign of migraine are the digestive issues. It causes nausea and vomiting as well. Since the issue involves the nervous system, therefore the impact propagates to the digestive system as well.

Furthermore, as the attacks tend to last for days, the person has to endure this constant ordeal for very long. Therefore, the effect of the attack cannot be discounted. It has a profound impact on the quality of life for the days that it lasts.


There currently is no cure for migraines, as its complete pathophysiology is unknown yet. Therefore, the treatment is either preventive or involves attempts to relieve the pain once the attack sets in.

Preventive measures involve carefully noting down the triggers of the attack and then try eliminating them. For example, some people get the attack due to stress. They then take up alternate practices like meditation to moderate their stress levels.

Likewise, painkillers- albeit little stronger ones- are more effective. They can be taken up during the migraine episode to make it more bearable. However, it is very important to seek medical help with the attacks, as doctors can help you manage it better.

If left untreated, the attacks can increase in frequency. Therefore, in order to prevent chronic headaches, it is best to get a proper checkup from a qualified doctor.

Since the world is under complete lock down because of the rising threat of coronavirus, it is highly advised that you get remote treatment through online doctor video consultation services.

After a remote consultation, the doctor might deem it necessary to run some tests to determine if the issue is in fact migraine and then advise you to visit a lab with protective gear on. These are hard times but seeking timely medical aid is still important and can help make the attack more bearable and thus manageable.

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