Migraines are more than another headache.
A migraine can strike at any moment and leave you feeling drained and useless.
If you suffer from frequent or even chronic migraines, you know how incapacitating they can really be. You also know how indescribable the pain of the condition is.
What does a migraine feel like?
While there are different types of migraines, and the way they manifest varies from person to person, migraine symptoms — as opposed to those caused by different types of headaches — are often debilitating, causing you to forgo daily tasks and activities that you may have enjoyed doing otherwise.
And however you cope with the pain migraines cause, you may even be more bothered by the constant questions from others. Your loved ones may not understand how severe the pain really is — or can be. They may assume you're being lazy, exaggerating the pain or maybe even faking it all together.
Migraines make your brain feel electrified. You might feel regular shocks on your head or residual burning pain as if an electrical current is making its way through your brain.
Sometimes, during a migraine attack, you might lose feeling in a part of your face or your limbs. This stroke-like symptom can be incredibly scary, especially if you've never experienced it before.
Throbbing is one of the most common symptoms of a migraine. Pulsing sensations tend to be felt in only one side of the head and can continue for days if you're unlucky.
Known as photophobia, this is another common migraine symptom. Bright lights often become burdensome when a migraine first hits, encouraging you to find a dark space to relax in. Wearing an eye mask and just turning off lights and electronic devices are great ways to prevent the discomfort that you feel when looking at light.
Vision changes, including blurred vision and the temporary loss of vision, can occur during migraine attacks. You may see flashes of light, blind spots and other floating objects in your field of view.
Gentle touches that usually don't hurt you may be painful during a migraine attack. Brushing your hair, laughing and showering may trigger intense pain throughout your body.
Moving can be more difficult when migraines are involved. Your jaw might feel as if it's wired shut, and your neck may not turn so smoothly. If you have a tension migraine headache, then you may also be clenching your shoulder, back and neck muscles without even realizing it.
Migraines make a lot of people feel dizzy and faint. Vestibular migraines (i.e., migraines that cause vertigo) can be dangerous if not treated carefully. If you feel light-headed during a migraine headache, then you should change positions slowly and drink lots of fluids. You should also avoid looking up or down while walking.
Migraines are linked to tinnitus and other hearing disturbances. The ringing may be caused by auras, but it may occur without an aura.
Tightness or a squeezing feeling around your head are common migraine symptoms. The pressure can be throughout your head or centralized to a certain part.
Stomach issues like nausea and vomiting are common symptoms as well. Because migraines are disorienting, you may feel uneasiness in your stomach or have to use the restroom more frequently.
You know the feeling. It's like when your foot falls asleep because you've been sitting on it. But, this time, it's your head that's falling asleep — and maybe parts of your face.