What is Migraine Headache?
A migraine is an intense headache that is often characterized by a pulsing or throbbing pain in one place and it often lasts for several hours or a few days. The pain may also be accompanied by vomiting, nausea, or sensitivity to light and sound, and it may be preceded by tingling in the arms or legs, blind spots or flashes of light.
Some people are hesitant to visit an emergency room (ER) for migraine or a “bad headache,” but it can be debilitating and extremely painful. If you are suffering from a severe headache, you may need medical attention from an emergency room physician.
Migraines can cause severe pain or painful pulsing sensation. It normally occurs on one side of the head and is often accompanied by vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and nausea.
Migraine attacks can last anywhere from hours to days and the pain could be so severe that sufferers are unable to function during the attacks.
Symptoms of Migraines
Symptoms of migraines, known as aura, sometimes will appear before or during attacks. These symptoms include tingling on one side of the face, arm or leg, blind spots and light flashes. Most people will experience the sickness without aura.
If you are suffering from severe headaches or migraines, visit the closest emergency room (ER). SignatureCare Emergency Center has several locations to serve you the next time a migraine strikes. Our emergency room doctors are board-certified, and our emergency rooms are open 24/7. You can schedule an appointment or just walk in. We typically have little or no wait.
Causes of Migraines
Doctors have not identified exactly what causes migraine headaches, but they have discovered that the following may play a role in whether a person suffers from migraines.
If someone in your family suffers from the sickness, you are like to get it too. Scientists believe that a person who has relatives who suffer from migraine headaches will be more likely to experience the illness. While men and women can have attacks, the condition is more common among women.
Migraine headaches can occur anytime but most people suffer their first attacks while in their teens. The headaches tend to peak in the 30s and become less frequent from there.
Men and women get migraines but women are three times more likely to get them than men.
Doctors are still studying the role of serotonin in relation to migraines, but they believe that there may be a link between decreased levels of serotonin and migraine attacks.
Fluctuations in Hormones
Many women experience attacks during or before their periods due to the sudden drop of estrogen. Migraines may also affect women who are pregnant or who are going through menopause. In some cases, hormone replacement therapy may be helpful, but it may also make the severity of the attacks worse.
Some people experience a migraine when they participate in rigorous physical activities, including sex and exercise.
What Triggers Migraines?
Migraine sufferers know how painful it is and will do everything they can to avoid the next attack. Many migraine sufferers report that certain triggers can bring on their migraines. These triggers include:
- Changes in weather
- Preservatives and food additives
- Foods, including cheese, wine and processed foods
When to Seek Emergency Room Treatment for Migraine Headache
If over-the-counter pain medication does not alleviate your migraine pain, you should consider going into an emergency room. Specifically, don’t delay your visit if you experience any of the following symptoms:
- Blurred vision
- Loss of balance
- Slurring, stuttering or other speech difficulties
If you are experiencing symptoms of a migraine headache, visit the closest emergency room immediately. Our emergency rooms are open 24/7 in Houston (Montrose, Westchase, Heights and Memorial City), Stafford, Austin and College Station, TX.