“How do I know if I’m having a migraine?” As it turns out, you won’t have to think about it for long. In fact, a study published by the National Institutes of Health found that answering just 3 quick questions can help you determine with 95% accuracy whether you’re having a migraine. Take the quick migraine screening test below. Then come back to learn more about the real-world symptoms that may indicate a migraine.
Those who get severe and / or frequent headaches may often ask, “how do I know if I’m having a migraine?” If you’ve ever wondered if you have a migraine coming on, you’re not alone. In fact, according to the Migraine Research Foundation, 12% of the population suffers from migraine, making it the world’s 3rd most common illness. To those who get them, there’s no doubt: migraine attacks are debilitating. But for someone who’s never had one before, it might be difficult to know what a migraine actually feels like.
When you feel a bad headache coming on, you might wonder if it’s just another headache or a full-fledged migraine attack. If you’re unsure whether your headaches rise to the level of migraine, here are some signs and symptoms that may indicate your headache is more than just a headache. Refer to this list the next time you ask, “how do I know if I’m having a migraine?”
- Your head is throbbing: Most migraines are not just a severe pain, but a severe throbbing pain. This can be felt on one or both sides of the head.
- Visual disturbance: Many migraine sufferers also experience visual disturbances with their migraine attacks. This isn’t always the case, but is common. You might see flickering light, jagged lines through your vision, or spots. These disturbances or auras may show up before the pain sets in or occur during the headache, and could last for just a few minutes or much longer.
- Mood changes: Sudden mood changes can occur with migraine. Some people might feel depressed, on edge, or feel their mood quickly shift up or down.
- Neck pain: Migraine attacks are definitely a pain in your head, but can also be a literal pain in the neck. Yours may feel stiff, or even begin to throb.
- Excessive yawning: If you find yourself yawning a lot before getting a headache, you could actually be experiencing migraine. According to study, about ⅓ of migraineurs report frequent yawning before onset.
- Nausea or vomiting: As if a migraine attack isn’t unpleasant enough, a lot of sufferers (over 70%) report nausea with an attack, and nearly 30% will vomit.
- Tingling or numbness: You might get that “falling asleep” tingling feeling of pins and needles in your extremities if you’re having a migraine attack.
- Vertigo: If you experience vertigo symptoms like dizziness, loss of balance, or double vision, your headache may be a migraine attack.
- They run in your family: Most migraineurs report a family history or tendency toward migraine. If you get headaches accompanied by some of these other symptoms, you might be following some grand -- and painful -- family tradition.
- Pain worsens with noise or odors: Along with migraine pain, a lot of sufferers report heightened sensitivity to sound or smells. If noises or odors trigger or make your headache worse, migraine may be to blame.
- Pain worsens with or is triggered by light: Over 90% of migraine sufferers experience light sensitivity or photophobia, where certain types of light either trigger or exacerbate their migraine attacks. This can be avoided by wearing precision-tinted lenses by Axon Optics, which filter out the light most likely to cause the problem. Axon Optics lenses are non-invasive and perfectly safe to wear every day, making them an easy way to experience fewer migraine attacks. They’re clinically proven effective and are available with or without prescription.
So, how can you tell if you’re having a migraine? Most likely (but not always), you’ll experience one of the signs or symptoms above along with your pain. Taking a self administered migraine screening test can also be helpful. If you’re concerned about your symptoms or are still unsure of what they mean, it’s important to see your doctor. He or she can help you form a treatment plan for your migraines and rule out any other issues.