I’ve been wondering whether the ‘headaches’ I get are actually migraines. I’ve always dismissed that possibility because the headaches aren’t usually completely debilitating or severe, and I’ve never noticed any aura symptoms. But my headaches always come with throbbing pain, usually focused on one eye, usually made worse with exertion, and almost always resolved by sleeping.
I have some questions about the progression and symptoms of migraine attacks. I know these are all things which can be different for everyone, I’m basically just curious about what other people experience since I’ve never done much research about this before. I’ll just put my questions in a list, feel free to answer any you can/want to!
1. How quickly does the pain usually develop? My headaches typically seem to develop slowly – over a few hours or more – starting with a general sense of tiredness and the pain gradually getting worse and more focused. Is that normal for migraine, or do they generally develop more suddenly?
2. A bit related to the above – how quickly do triggers usually take effect? I’ve seen mentions of things like the smells at a perfume counter causing migraine, but that suggests that the trigger takes effect almost instantly, doesn’t it? Is that always the case, or can a trigger slowly cause migraine to start?
3. My experience has been that if I take paracetamol, the pain goes away and doesn’t come back. As if somehow taking painkiller completely ended the attack (rather than just dulled the pain until the drug wore off again). Is that normal? It could well be a placebo effect and I just feel better because I expect to, I don’t know!
I feel a bit like I don’t belong here because my symptoms aren’t all that debilitating, and probably happen once or twice a month on average. But I’m wondering if recognising my symptoms as migraine rather than headache might help me to deal with it. I guess something like a diary of symptoms and common triggers might be a good place to start, at least to get me better at noticing the patterns and stuff. Sorry if this is a bit incoherent, I’m pretty new to this and not sure what to think!