10 Signs Your Headache May Be a Migraine

1. How You Feel

migraine can feel a lot worse than a normal headache.

You may have moderate-to-severe, throbbing pain that can sometimes last for days.

Throbbing pain is a type of pain that comes in pulses or beats over and over again.

2. Where You Feel the Pain

Headaches can be of many different types. Mostly you feel them evenly on both sides of your head.

Some headaches can be felt as pain in the region of your eyes.

If you have a headache focused near your sinuses, you can feel the pain mostly in your cheekbones and forehead.

A migraine is usually felt more intensely on one side of your head, although this can vary from person to person.

3. You Have What’s Called an Aura

An aura is a set of symptoms that about 15 – 20% of people with migraine experience.

It can happen before or during a migraine. It can last from 10 minutes to an hour.

As the result of an aura, you may see:

. Bright flashing lights, spots, dots, or sparkles
. Different shapes
. Wavy lines or lines with sharp, pointy edges
. Nothing at all, though your vision will come back

4. You Have What’s Called an Aura – What You Hear/Taste and Feel

When you have an aura, you can also experience:

. A feeling of prickly pins and needles in your arm or your leg
. Difficulty talking or changes to the way you talk
. Ringing in your ears
. A feeling that things don’t smell or taste the same
. Feeling weak or numb on one side of the body
Your doctor can help you get effective treatment for your auras.

5. You Have a Family History

Migraines can be more common in families with a history of that condition.

4 out of 5 people with migraines have a family history.
If a parent has migraines, their child is 50% more likely to have them.
If both parents have a history of migraines, their child is 75% more likely to have them.

6. Increased Sensitivity

When you have a migraine, you may become more sensitive to:

Sometimes, touch.

7. You Feel Like Throwing Up

When you have a migraine, you may also experience nausea.

You may also vomit as a result of your migraine.

8. You’re a Woman

If you’re a woman, you’re more likely to get migraines.

This tendency is due to the way female hormones work in your body.

Migraines are more common in women between 15 and 55 years old.

9. Warning Symptoms Before a Migraine

A migraine can sometimes happen in phases or stages.

The first stage takes place 1 or 2 days before your headache. It is called the prodrome stage.

When you’re in the prodrome stage, you can have:

. Trouble concentrating or sleeping
. Irritability or depression
. Sensitivity to lights and sounds
. Nausea
. Food cravings.

10. Triggers

Headaches can occur for many different reasons.

Sometimes, they can be the result of lifestyle factors like stress. Sometimes, the cause can be other medical conditions.

Migraines can have "triggers."

Triggers can include:

. Missing a meal
. Caffeine
. Weather changes
. Alcohol, and especially red wine
. Cured meats
. Being sensitive to the chemicals in some pre-packaged foods
. Hormonal changes in women caused by menstrual periods, pregnancy, or menopause

Remember to consult your doctor if your headaches cause you discomfort or if you suspect you have a migraine.