Understanding the Full Scope of Migraine

Education is an important aspect of awareness, especially when it comes to health and various conditions. In addition to Men’s Health Month, June is also National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month.

When most people think of the word “migraine,” the first concept that comes to mind is “headache.” While that’s not an incorrect association, the condition also causes a vast array of other symptoms that make it more than just a headache.

There are four phases of migraine, though not everyone experiences them all:

  1. Prodrome: This is typically experienced hours or even days before the onset of pain and can include fatigue, increased urination, frequent yawning, and stiffness in the neck.
  2. Aura: This phase typically happens in the hour(s) leading up to the onset of pain and includes visual phenomena like blurry vision, bright flashes, and blind spots; weakness; confusion; difficulty speaking; and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and smells.
  3. Headache: This phase usually lasts anywhere from four to 72 hours and is marked by severe and debilitating head pain, nausea, and vomiting.
  4. Postdrome: This phase, often called “migraine hangover,” comes after the pain and is marked by fatigue, difficulty concentrating, body aches, and dizziness. It can last anywhere from 24-48 hours.

The debilitating nature of this complex disorder takes a toll on a migraineur’s social life, home life, mental health, and productivity at work. In addition, migraine is vastly misdiagnosed, undiagnosed, and underdiagnosed. 

To learn more about migraine, go to americanmigrainefoundation.org.

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