Medically reviewed by Dr. Riaz Ali Shah.
Migraine is one of the most talked about headaches, often misunderstood with anything that causes your head to start sounding like a big drum. But, if you are going through recurring bouts of extreme pain in one or both sides of your head, accompanied by nausea, vomiting or flashy spots in front of your eyes, its most definitely a migraine.
It’s no secret that a migraine headache hurts like it’s your last day on planet Earth, but is it actually capable of taking your life? Keep on reading to find out!
Is It Really a Migraine?
First of all, it’s important to be able to differentiate a migraine from something more or less severe.
There are certain things that are exclusive to migraines, such as triggers and aura. Triggers are all the things that can lead to a migraine attack, including caffeinated drinks, salty food, bright light, strong smells, certain medicines, and even a jet lag. Aura is something a person experiences an hour or so before the headache finally hits! It could range from flashy spots and hearing noises to weakness in one side of the body or a stiffed neck.
But, if your migraine attack has lasted for more than 72 hours, or its aura has been there for more than a week, you need to pay an emergency visit to your doctor as it could be a stroke (also called a ‘brain attack’, occurs when the blood flow to an area of the brain is cut off). While they are not much related, a migraine aura and the symptoms of an ischemic stroke often mimic each other. Sometimes, in a stroke, headache similar to migraine may occur.
A stiff neck is not just present in a migraine, which is why if you experience it with a headache that is accompanied by a fever as well, it could mean a more serious condition such as meningitis (inflammation of the layers of the brain called meninges due to an infection). Please seek urgent medical attention if the above-mentioned symptoms along with some flu-like symptoms and diarrhea are experienced.
To Sum It Up
Even though a migraine headache can apparently be the death of you, it’s almost never the killer. But since other serious problems can present themselves like a migraine; there is no harm in being a little uptight towards it and keeping a check. After all, precaution is better than cure!
Guest Post Credit: Dr. Maleeha Syed