Around 38 million people across the Unite States suffer from migraines. Did you know that there are multiple different types? Some can be treated with help from your local pharmacist while others may require more in-depth intervention.
Early Warning Signs of Migraine
Some migraine sufferers get an early warning known as a prodome, that lets them know a migraine is on its way. These signs can occurs up to 48 hours prior to the onset of the migraine. It takes some practice to recognize these signs, but if you can learn to spot the warnings it could allow you to take steps to prevent or at least lessen a full migraine. Your local pharmacist should be able to offer advice on managing the symptoms.
Some of the common early warning signs of a migraine might include:
- Sudden Mood Changes
- Tension in the Muscles
Common Types of Migraine
What many people fail to realize is that there are various different types of migraine each with their own symptoms and triggers. Most can be sorted into one of two categories:
- Migraine without Aura – A one sided pain which pulsates and is usually worsened with activity. This type is often accompanied with nausea, light sensitivity and vomiting.
- Migraine with Aura – Similar pain to a migraine without an Aura, but accompanied by sensory disturbances known as aura. This could include visual disturbances, blind spots, flashing lights and tingling sensations in the hand or face.
There are various types of migraine that are often considered a little more serious than the classic migraine and these have very distinct characteristics.
- Retinal Migraine – If you experience temporary loss of vision or some distortion in your vision during migraine attacks, you may be suffering from retinal migraine. This is usually harmless, lasting no more than a few minutes. If it lasts for longer than this it is best to seek medical advice.
- Brainstem Aura Migraine – A rare type of migraine with aura is a brainstem aura migraine, also known as a basilar migraine. It has the usual hallmarks of a migraine with aura, but may also be accompanied by dizziness, vertigo and slurred speech. You may feel like the room is spinning and you may be lightheaded or unsteady on your feet.
- Hemiplegic Migraine – One fairly rare type of migraine is called a hemiplegic migraine and it can often be mistaken for a stroke due to the similar nature of the symptoms. It can cause severe weakness of the muscles including paralysis on one side of the body. Unlike a stroke, it will not result in any permanent nerve damage, but it can be very scary nevertheless. It is wise to seek medical attention to rule out a stroke rather than self-diagnosing a hemiplegic migraine.
- Status Migrainosus -Sometimes, migraines can last for multiple days. Many sufferers dismiss this assuming there is nothing that can be done. However, you should never endure a long-term migraine without seeking advice from your local pharmacist or a doctor. Migraines lasting for more than 3 days could be status migrainosus, a type of migraine often cause by medication.
When to Seek Medical Attention
In most cases, it is possible to treat migraines with over the counter or prescription medication from your local pharmacist. However, there are some instances where you should contact a medical professional for additional help.
- If you experience a change in frequency, severity or symptoms.
- If the migraine lasts for several days and gets progressively worse.
- If the migraine is triggered by coughing, sneezing, bearing down or straining.
Don’t forget, you can always consult your local pharmacist for advice about migraines and their symptoms.
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Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!