3d illustration of headache human, x-ray medical concept.

Author’s Bio: Ria Ellendula is an incoming college freshman who is passionate about public health and healthcare policy. 

Many people suffer from migraines. Therefore, it is important to know how to effectively diagnose and treat migraines.  If you have ever had a migraine headache you know that it can be a debilitating and at times a crippling condition.  It may be of some comfort to know then that you are not alone. 39 million people in the US are sufferers, and the WHO reports that it was the 6th highest cause of years lost due to disability.   With these migraine facts in mind, let us understand what they are and what you can do when one strikes.

What Is a Migraine?

A migraine is an intense headache, normally accompanied by several other symptoms. These can include:

  • Nausea vomiting 
  • Feeling dizzy
  • Aura (seeing colors, lines, shadows, or flashing lights) 
  • A tingling feeling 

However, someone may not experience all of these symptoms. 

The reason why people get them is still unclear, although there is believed to be some correlation between genetics (family history) and environmental factors.

One exception would be ocular migraines. The temporary loss of vision experienced when having an ocular migraine is because of reduced blood flow to the retina or spasms of blood vessels behind the eye or in the retina.   

How Long Do Migraines Last?

A migraine can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours, depending on its severity.

Migraine Signs & Symptoms

Knowing migraine symptoms is a good way to gauge exactly how long it will last. They tend to move through several stages:
  • Prodromal
  • Aura
  • Attack
  • Post prodromal 
In the prodromal phase sufferers report feeling sleepy, irritable, and many experience food cravings among other symptoms. When experiencing the aura phase the most common migraine symptoms are changes in vision, skin sensations, and even trouble speaking. The attack phase is when most discomfort is experienced. It generally starts around the eye area and eventually leads to a painful throbbing sensation in one’s head. This is the longest phase, lasting anything from a few hours to days.  Finally, in the post prodromal phase sufferers exhibit muscle aches and fatigue.   

How to Get Rid of a Migraine?

When experiencing symptoms it may seem difficult to know how to get rid of a migraine, yet some decisive action can be taken. One of the most effective ways to minimize the migraine headache is to stay in a dark quiet room. This is due to the fact that bright lights and loud noises can be particularly troublesome when suffering a migraine. Removing yourself from such stimuli can often ease the pain. 

Another common home remedy is to either use a cold pack around your neck area or to go the other way and have a hot shower or use a warm compress. This is because ice numbs the affected area, dulling the pain, whereas the heat provided from the warm compress can relax the muscles that usually tense up when experiencing an attack.   

What Helps Migraines?

Preventative treatment is always better than cure, therefore two things are vital if you are one of the many who have to deal with serious attacks regularly.  Having a treatment plan is useful, as knowing what your next steps should be when you feel one coming can help alleviate stress. It can include which medication to take, both OTC and prescription.  The next is to be familiar with your triggers. Many factors can induce a migraine, the most common being:
  • Dehydration
  • Stress 
  • Low Blood Sugar 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Changes in Hormones, during the menstrual cycle or pregnancy
  • Alcohol
  • Avoid eating large meals 
  • Certain foods, such as chocolate, cheese, cured meat,

Foods that Help with Migraines

Certain Foods may help to reduce or prevent migraine headaches. They Include:

  • Salmon
  • Almonds
  • Pomegranate
  • Spinach
  • Kale

Treatment and Medications For Migraines

There is no known cure for migraine attacks. However, online medication can be used for the treatment of migraine symptoms. OTC medicine includes:
  • Aspirin 
  • Ibuprofen 
  • Acetaminophen (Tylenol, Excedrin)
Prescription medication includes: 
  • Sumatriptan
  • Rizatriptan
  • Topiramate
  • Propranolol 
Before taking any action, it would be best to receive an online consultation for clear direction on what is best for you.

Be Familiar With Migraine Facts

If you only experience one from time to time or have to deal with chronic migraines on a frequent basis, being familiar with migraine facts can act as protection. 

Headaches: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Headaches are defined as a painful sensation that occurs in any part of the head. The pain can range from sharp to dull, and can usually occur for many reasons.  Causes for headaches are usually attributed to lack of sleep, visual disturbances, stress, loud noises, tight headwear, etc.  There are many types of headaches that someone could experience. The most common types include sinus headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches
  • Sinus Headaches are characterized as a steady growing pain towards the front of your head (forehead region) The head pain can worsen if you bend forward and have nasal congestion. This type of headache can have:
    • Deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose
    • Worsening pain with rapid head movements 
    • Sinus symptoms like nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling
  • Tension Headaches feel like a tightening band around your head, and there are two types: Episodic and Chronic tension headaches. For these types, symptoms include:
    • Chronic tension headaches have a level of pain that varies throughout the day, but the pain is always there, and the pain varies in intensity
    • Episodic tension headaches have mild to moderate pain and pressure around the head, which usually varies from person to person. They affect the front, top, and sides of the head.
  • Cluster Headaches are intense pains in one side of your head. It is often characterized as burning, piercing, or throbbing. 
    • These headaches also involve pain behind one eye that does not change and double vision. Cluster headaches occur very regularly as well. 

Home Remedies: 

  • Drinking Water
  • Taking Magnesium (600 mg of oral magnesium citrate per day can help reduce the frequency and severity of migraine headaches)
  • Limit Alcohol ingestion
  • Get adequate sleep (aim to get about 7-9 hours of sleep if you are having a headache)
  • Avoid foods high in Histamine
  • Aged cheeses, fermented food, beer, wine, smoked fish, and cured meats
  • Use Essential oils 
  • apply peppermint oils to the temple to reduce tension headache symptoms
  • apply lavender oil to the upper lip to reduce migraine pain
  • Try a B-complex vitamin
  • Take a cold compress to soothe the pain 
  • Drink caffeinated tea or coffee (known to relieve headache pain) 
  • Pain relievers like NSAIDs can also help, but make sure to avoid medication overuse

Online consultation for Migraines

If you or someone in your family have concerns about migraines and headaches, please contact and seek help from our doctors online.   At Home Urgent Care provides Telehealth services so you can safely and confidently keep your health in check with our primary and urgent care services and get treatment online.  Feel free to book an appointment today with our health experts available at your convenience 365 days a year and get your prescription/medication available online and sent to your preferred pharmacy.

Book an Appointment

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 1

Call or Book your online Doctor Visit

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 2

Talk to a doctor over the Phone/ Tablet

Online Doctor Appointment - At Home Urgent Care

Step 3

If needed pick up your medication at the pharmacy


  1. World Health Organization “Headache Disorders”
  2. Webmd  “Migraine Symptoms by Stage”
  3. Healthline “Migraine Triggers”
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