When someone suddenly has a migraine for the first when they are nearing fifty or sixty its often the case that what they thought they had was a migraine headache when in fact it was actually a TIA. So, what is a TIA and how is it different then a migraine?
TIA is the acronym for transient ischemic attack. It is a stroke like episode, sometimes mistaken for an intense headache, migraine or otherwise, and is seen by many physicians as a warning sign of a full stroke soon to come. This is not a warning sign to be ignored.
Its very uncommon for a migraine to start after a person has passed forty. So for someone to all of a sudden develop those one-sided headaches around the eyes or temple area is not a good sign. As a matter of fact studies have shown that the intense headache transpires in nearly thirty percent of all patients who later have a stroke.
Almost Like a Migraine
The headache that comes with a TIA is very migraine like, but does not come with the other symptoms that usually accompany migraine headaches. There is no aura, no nausea or throwing up and the patient is not bothered by light or loud noises.
If the health care provider is able to examine the patient shortly after the episode they can often hear, using the stethoscope, a swishing noise, similar to the sound of a heart murmur, in the artery that goes to the brain. These episodes are trying to tell the person having them that there is damage or disease to the carotid artery. This can be very dangerous.
Time for a Change
If you have had one of these warning headaches then you need to make some changes to your life to improve your health and you need to do them quickly. Some of the things that youll need to change could include an improvement in what and how much you eat; you should stop smoking, cut out the alcoholic drinks and get control of your high blood pressure. Youll need to develop a good exercise program as well. Improving your overall health could save you from a debilitating stroke.
There are tests that can be conducted by your physician that are not painful or intrusive that can quickly determine if there is a need to worry. If it is suggested to you to have these tests give your physician the go ahead. Let them investigate. The best that can happen is youll be told youve defied the rules and are now migraine sufferer, though this is unlikely.
The worst they will say is that you are a candidate for stroke, but that having found out early there are things that can be done to improve the odds.
If its determined that something should be done, but that surgery is not required, there is medication that will help prevent strokes. Use of an anticoagulation medication would be one choice available. Be smart, following your physicians advice could save your life.