Have you ever experience having a migraine on your important day? Maybe it is a day to finish your projects or your rest day that should be relaxing. If you do some home remedies, how long does a migraine last? How long its different stages affect your day-to-day activity? Perhaps, suffering from migraines makes you think about what you do or eat to trigger this kind of headache. Some patients experience chronic fatigue, migraine, and other pain-related symptoms after a surgical procedure. If you have the same case, it is essential to know how to cope with headaches after the surgery.
What is Migraine?
A migraine is a medical condition that can cause multiple headache symptoms. It usually goes with nausea, vomiting, and other neurological symptoms.
Identifying migraine triggers can help individuals avoid them and forestall migraine attacks from happening.
Each individual has different migraine triggers. However, some common ones include:
- bright lights
- alcohol and caffeine
- hormonal changes
- changes in the climate
- overuse of medicine
In addition, there are some reports of severe headaches and migraines after receiving spinal anesthesia and some surgical treatments. Also, some patients experience headache symptoms after getting local and general anesthesia. This kind of headache occurs sooner after surgery and is much more momentary than spinal headaches.
How Long Does A Migraine Last?
A migraine is a complex form with various stages and contributing elements. They can keep going from four to 72 hours whenever left untreated. The migraine frequency and length vary from person to person.
There is a particularly intense type of migraine known as status migrainosus (SM). These long-lasting headache symptoms can continue for over 72 hours, even with treatment.
This type of headache advances through various stages that lead on from one another. Not every person will encounter each stage with each migraine attack they have. Every period lasts a different length of time, changing between individuals and between every migraine attack.
Four Stages of Migraines
For more details about the question “how long does a migraine last?” let’s understand the different stages of migraine attacks which can also help individuals manage the condition.
Once you identify the earliest indications of a migraine episode, you can take action to prevent the situation from advancing.
Here are the four stages of migraine attacks with their most common symptoms and duration:
Prodrome, also called the warning stage or premonitory, might start a few days or only a few hours before having aura symptoms.
In this period, you may observe subtle changes that are not automatically headache-related. The indications are warning signs of a future migraine attack.
The following are some common symptoms in the prodrome stage.
- Food cravings
- Mood changes
- Increased thirst and urination
- Neck stiffness
These manifestations can last somewhere in the range of 1 to 24 hours before the aura or headache stages start.
Aura symptoms will occur before the main attack or headache happens. This stage involves an extensive range of neurological symptoms, including:
- dark spots
- flashing lights
- colored spots
- zigzag lines
- anxiety or confusion
- numbness or tingling
You may also encounter troubles in hearing and speaking. In rare conditions, you may experience fainting and incomplete loss of motion.
These indications can keep going from five minutes to an hour.
Though aura symptoms typically go before a migraine headache, they can happen simultaneously. However, that case is for adults only. Kids are more likely to encounter these neurological symptoms together with their headaches. Sometimes, this period may come and go without ever progressing to a headache.
The side effects during the headache period are generally the same, regardless if you had the aura phase or not. Common headache symptoms incorporate:
- blurred vision
- dizziness and lightheadedness
- light and noise sensitivity
- stiffness in the neck and shoulders
- possible sensitivity to smells, touch, and movement
- upset stomach, nausea, or vomiting
- throbbing pain on one or two sides of the head that deteriorates with activity or movement
The headache stage is the most intense level, which can prevent people from working normally. Also, it is the most unpredictable, with migraine attacks lasting anywhere from a couple of hours to a couple of days.
This stage occurs at the end of the primary headache period and can last 24 to 48 hours. Postdrome symptoms include:
- Feeling drained
- Trouble concentrating
- Aching body
- Euphoria or depression
Some individuals discover that a quick head movement or turn back to vigorous activity may cause the headache to occur, but just momentarily.
There is no exact method to treat a migraine. If you have an infrequent migraine attack, you can take over-the-counter (OTC) medications such as aspirin, ibuprofen, or naproxen, to address the symptoms.
In case your manifestations are severe or persistent, OTC medicines may not be helpful. Your doctor may recommend stronger prescriptions such as ergots, triptans, and opioids, to deal with existing symptoms and help forestall future headaches.
At times, changing your surroundings might be sufficient to diminish the more significant part of your symptoms.
Staying in a dark, quiet room may help to manage the symptoms. You can use a lamp rather than overhead lighting and draw the curtains to obstruct the sunlight.
The light from your TV, phone, computer and other electronic devices may intensify your indications, so minimize your screen time if possible.
Using a cold compress and massaging your head may also give help. If you are not feeling nauseous, increasing your water consumption may also provide relief.
It is also essential to identify and avoid the triggering factors that worsen your symptoms. This practice may help reduce the side effects you are experiencing at present and keep them from recurring.
When to Seek A Doctor
If your migraine attack keeps going for more than what is regular, then you should look for a doctor’s advice.
It is necessary to go to the emergency room if a migraine turns out to be excessively severe and home remedies do not ease indications.
You should get immediate medical consideration if you have the following manifestations:
- a severe headache
- a headache that begins suddenly like a thunderclap, particularly for people ages 50 years and above
- vision, speech, movement, or balance issues that vary from the typical migraine pattern
- a migraine attack goes with a stiff neck, confusion, slurred speech, fever, or seizures
Remember to always look for medical attention if you have a headache after a head injury.
The concept about prevention is better than cure is the best way to be free from various headache symptoms. Identifying and avoiding an individual’s specific triggers can help prevent migraines.
With that in mind, making a headache journal that records migraine information and triggers can help foresee when a migraine headache could happen. Also, you can use an app to record and track your symptoms and recognize their triggers.
If stress is the reason for your migraine, looking for approaches to unwind and relieve stress may be enough to stop future migraine headaches.
For youngsters, changing sleeping habits and correcting night-time routines might be sufficient to reduce migraine attacks.
Vitamin B2, Magnesium, and Coenzyme q10 can help prevent a migraine from happening.
Migraine attacks are severe headaches often accompanied by nausea and neurological side effects.
The four stages of migraine have various durations. Generally speaking, a migraine headache may last for four to 72 hours or much more.
Individuals with migraines might be able to detect specific occasions or situations that trigger the condition.
Experiencing a severe migraine episode, an extreme or abrupt headache accompanied by fever or seizures, should never forget to seek urgent medical attention.