Migraine is a common neurological condition that affects millions of people from all ages, nationalities and gender. Like any other disease, its presence is manifested by symptoms felt by the sufferer and whose existence allows physicians to make a diagnosis.
The most common migraine symptom and the most recognizable as well, is the headache. Although it is not present in the rarer forms of the disease, it is one evident sign of migraine. The headache that accompanies a migraine is not the kind that gives a dull ache. The pain felt by migraineurs is the intense, throbbing kind which sometimes necessitates complete rest and disrupts normal daily functions. However , a headache is not the only indicator that signals a migraine. Depending on the migraine attack, a host of other symptoms arise as well. Analyzing them helps the medical practitioner in determining what type of migraine the patient is suffering from and in prescribing the appropriate medications.
An inventory of migraine symptoms could be quite lengthy due to the various types of the disease. A generalized list of these include: severe headache on one or both sides of the head, nausea, vomiting, weakness, vision disturbance, sensitivity to light and sound, pain over one eye, aura, blurred vision and temporary blind spots. When the migraine comes with aura, this gives rise to a whole new set of symptoms that consists of: seeing flashing lights or zigzag lines, temporary blindness, speech difficulty, tingling and weakness in the limbs and face, confusion, giddiness and noise sensitivity. This does not mean the sufferer undergoes all the symptoms during the attack. Most likely, he will experience only a few. Symptoms also vary from person to person. Further, a migraine symptom could be felt days before the attack, during the prodrome stage. In these times, the migraineur has unexplained feelings of elation or intense energy, cravings for sweets, thirst, drowsiness or irritability and depression.
Diagnosing migraine is not an easy task for the physician. In order to make an accurate evaluation, he will need to have as much information as possible, obtained from the patient and from medical tests conducted. Observation and analysis of symptoms is very helpful in arriving at a diagnosis. By knowing what symptoms are experienced by the patient, the specialist will be able to tell what type of migraine it is and what treatments are to be administered. During consultation, the patient will be required to describe the duration and frequency of his headaches and how intense they are, where pain is located, presence of associated symptoms and behavior during a headache. Since other illnesses also exhibit similar sings to migraine, these have to be ruled out. A case in point is the fact that people with sever sinusitis also experience double vision and vision loss.
Experiencing migraine, however mild, is not a pleasant event. But the sufferer can put this to good use by being observant and recording what he is going through. The complexity of migraine and the difficulty in diagnosing it means that no detail is insignificant. Thus, if the patient is to take an active role in the management of his disease, he needs to be vigilant of every single migraine symptom.