A migraine headache is not simply a severe type of headache, but rather a neurological disorder with different symptoms and different treatments compared to other types of headache disorders. Migraines tend to cause severe head pain along with sensitivity to light, sound, or smells.
The best way to help get rid of a migraine fast is to try to intercept a migraine attack before it occurs. When you feel a migraine coming on, act fast and try the following home remedies in the chart below.
In addition to home treatments to get rid of migraines fast, treatment for migraine headaches includes:
- Non-medical treatments
- Pain relievers
- Other medications
- Trigger point injections
- OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox)
- Selective serotonin 1F receptor agonist
- Lasmiditan (Reyvow)
- Calcitonin-gene related peptide (CGRP) antagonists
- Rimegepant (Nurtec)
- Ubrogepant (Ubrelvy)
- Ergotamine preparations
- Ergotamine (Ergomar)
- Dihydroergotamine (D.H.E. 45, Migranal)
- Transcutaneous supraorbital nerve stimulation
- Remote electrical neuromodulation
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS)
- Noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation (nVNS)
- Peripheral nerve blocks
- Occipital nerve blocks
- Sphenopalatine ganglion blocks
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What Are Symptoms of Migraines?
Symptoms of migraines can vary from person to person and from migraine to migraine. Symptoms of migraine often have five phases:
- Prodrome: warnings before a migraine
- Change in mood
- Subtle changes in sensations such as an unusual taste or smell
- Muscle tension
- Aura: a visual disturbance that precedes the headache phase
- Blind spots (scotomas)
- Geometric patterns or flashing, colorful lights
- Loss of vision on one side (hemianopsia)
- Headache termination
- Even without treatment, the pain usually goes away with sleep
- Other signs may linger after the pain has gone away
- Inability to eat
- Problems with concentration
What Causes Migraines?
The exact cause of migraines is unknown, but genetics and environment play a role.
Migraine headaches may be triggered by:
- Lack of sleep/too much sleep
- Withdrawal from caffeine/suddenly stopping medications that contain caffeine
- Hunger/skipping meals
- Weather changes or changes in barometric pressure
- Certain foods and drinks, such as chocolate, processed foods with monosodium glutamate (MSG), and alcohol
- Exposure to smoke
- Bright lights
- Certain smells
- Changes in estrogen levels for women
- Certain prescription medications, such as nitroglycerin and estrogen
- Concussions and traumatic brain injuries
How Are Migraines Diagnosed?
A doctor will take a history and perform a physical exam along with a complete neurological exam to diagnose migraines.
Tests may be used to help rule out other causes for the symptoms such as:
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