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How a Migraine Can Affect Your Senses

woman lay in bed with headache on white bedding

What do you associate the word migraine with? There are a number of people that refer to a migraine as a headache and only a headache. But a migraine is so much more. There are several sensory warnings when it comes to an aura migraine and  Natasha, Marketing Coordinator and Content Writer at Disabled Living, shares her experience below.

Natasha’s experience with migraines

A migraine is different for everyone. Some people want complete darkness and just want to sleep to ease them away. Some people experience numbness in their tongues, whilst others can experience temporary blindness.

I remember the first time I had a migraine. Weeks leading up to this I was having headaches after headaches but then I noticed something different. I was 16-years-old in my first year of college when I was experiencing something a whole lot more than a headache. Feeling sleepy, losing concentration and becoming weak was the new version of me.

Although worrying about my studies did not help, my mum knew that something was up, especially as she had been there herself when she was in her teens along with my brother having them at the same age too. My dad had suffered with them when he was younger and they appeared again in his thirties. Once his blood pressure was under control, he stopped suffering from them. It does not end there; my auntie (dad’s sister) suffers with them on a similar level to how I do.

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There were frequent occasions when I could not figure out why I was feeling dizzy so much, seeing blind spots in the space of seconds when I looked at something, small flashes in different colours, and pins and needles in my arms and legs, especially in my fingers. The tingles come and go on an ordinary day without a migraine, but last an entire day or longer once a migraine appears.

It turns out that the type of migraine I suffer from is an aura migraine.

My times of worry were considered to be a likely contribution along with particular food elements being a possible factor. However, after keeping countless amounts of food diaries, there seemed to be something else which was causing these frequent migraines.

My doctor had suggested that I attend an appointment at my local opticians. During my first appointment, the optician had explained to me that I have blur in my vision, especially through my left eye (which is the side I experience the heaviest, and most painful migraine and headaches). I was given my first pair of glasses to use for concentration purposes. This included working on a laptop/computer/device, watching television etc. I was prescribed with a pair of anti-glare glasses.

Back then, I was prescribed to 10mg of Propranolol tablets to take daily. Unfortunately, the frequency of migraines was not lowering. I was sent for an MRI scan on my brain where my mother attended the appointment with me. A couple of weeks later, I was sent to receive feedback and a specialist at the hospital had increased my dose to 80mg and I have been on this amount for the past seven years.

eye

Your eyes are so important

At one point, my left eye had worsened as a scan revealed that my blood vessels had all burst. It is safe to say that it is healthy again now. I do get the odd tear down my face when my eyes are weak, or as a sign that a migraine could be happening, but other than that, they are a lot better.

I know when I’m going to have a huge migraine come on because everything becomes extra sensitive. My head feels all tense and heavy but light headed at the same time. My fingers become one of the weakest parts of my body, where a sharp pins and needles sensation runs through them.

If you ever experience something which feels new to you, never miss the opportunity to consult your GP. It is best to get the help and advice rather than suffering in silence.

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