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Migraines: Not Just Another Headache

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If you've never had a migraine, you might think it's just a really bad headache. But if you've ever had them, or you know someone who does, you know that they're much worse -- and much more complicated -- than that. Hank explains the biology behind this disorder of the central nervous system, and how it can be treated. ---------- Like SciShow? Want to help support us, and also get things to put on your walls, cover your torso and hold your liquids? Check out our awesome products over at DFTBA Records: http://dftba.com/artist/52/SciShow Or help support us by subscribing to our page on Subbable: https://subbable.com/scishow ---------- Looking for SciShow elsewhere on the internet? Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/scishow Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/scishow Tumblr: http://scishow.tumblr.com Thanks Tank Tumblr: http://thankstank.tumblr.com Sources: http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/migraine-headache/basics/definition/con-20026358 http://www.migrainetrust.org/factsheet-migraine-what-is-it-10504 https://www.lef.org/protocols/health_concerns/migraine_03.htm http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/17970989 http://umm.edu/health/medical/reports/articles/migraine-headaches http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/02/10/what-not-to-say-to-people-with-migraine_n_4745863.html
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Text Comments (3394)
Amanda D (17 hours ago)
Had a headache for 11+ hours.Very sensitive to smell yesterday.Still in some pain.I have no idea if its a Migraine.
Jo Hawthorne (1 day ago)
I don't get auras every time but when I do I get vision loss. It's absolutely terrifying when all of a sudden focusing becomes impossible and you're unable to see anything. Thank the gods I don't get them every time because I get migraines pretty frequently. It's terrible, if your genetics spared you count yourself lucky...
Ustole myMusterd (1 day ago)
God damb just got one and ive vomited like 10 times! My stomach feels like death
Isaac Stevenson (6 days ago)
when you go blind in the middle of the city and tell your friends and they say you're faking it and you almost get hit by a car because MIGRAINES ARE REAL
Kerri Lunn (10 days ago)
I hate it when people say “I get headaches too!” Or “just take an ibuprofen” migraines are a million times worse than headaches. When I get mine I get really tired or really calm and then there auras come. After that it’s all a landslide of pain and nausea. I can’t take oral meds when I get them because they always end up coming back the way they came. Migraines aren’t dinky little headaches, they last forever and feel worse.
Manuel Paz (11 days ago)
It's just like having a headache, not anything more, just a headache with of course... a longer duration. I guess i'll never have headaches in my life but just the extension of something longer. Migraines.
M. Smith (13 days ago)
I get migraines almost every week
Not So Insane (18 days ago)
When I get migranes its always in school. Its so bad, I always throw up afterwards
PurplePeach 344 (25 days ago)
I had a mild migraine when i was 7 it was horrible everything hurt my vision was blurry but it only lasted for a day so i was lucky it wasn't moderste or severe
Jade Auburn (1 month ago)
3 day migraines are quite an interesting experience :p
AliceLucindaBronte (1 month ago)
When I get a migraine, usually the only cure is throw up and then sleep for at least a couple of hours.
AliceLucindaBronte (1 month ago)
Eating cucumber helps too.
AliceLucindaBronte (1 month ago)
I recently discovered that a big contributing factor to my migraines is gluten.
Nicole Danica Guarino (1 month ago)
The fact that I don’t even know what kind of headache I have is a bit funny for me. I had a headache last for more than a week and for the time I had that headache, I did not understand anything at school.
Jillian McGovern (1 month ago)
I get migraines occasoinally, and one of those times was at the start of a 12 hour colorguard rehersal. It was not a good day.
Jillian McGovern (1 month ago)
And now i have a headache just watching this.
mine is caused by lack of sleep and 7 men *-* am not complaining at all
Alex Watts (1 month ago)
I'm watching this because I'm having a migraine
Zee Jaff (1 month ago)
What happens to migraine people? Do we die?
Nathan Lynch (1 month ago)
I suffer from migraines and the one thing ive learnt is NOT to eat a thing while suffering one it will cause you to be sick and my migraines can be started by high levels,of stress/anxiety or excitement but its stress that's more the enemy for me
Microbios75 (1 month ago)
Thank god my migraines are a little better now. When I was little my migraines were so severe I would hallucinate and wouldn't hear anything.
Beanierabbit (2 months ago)
I get very bad migraines when I'm on my period and very rarely get them when I'm off it but I still do get them and if you live in the united states there is a good medication called "ultramol" and it helps thanks for coming to my ted talk
Kevin Trombly (2 months ago)
I've come up with a cure for migraines that at least works for me, every time: When you feel the headache coming on, take no fewer than 6 excedrin and go back to bed for 30 minutes or so. Yes, that's a LOT of excedrin, and maybe this isn't a viable solution for anyone that gets migraines on a very regular basis. I feel them maybe once or twice a month.
Jackson B Wise (2 months ago)
I get migraines annually
Patricia Andresen (2 months ago)
Thank you for this episode. It explains what I struggle with very well. Hopefully showing this to my family and friends will help them be a little more empathetic. I only wish you had mentioned how difficult to treat chronic migraines are. Some of us have migraines on some level 20 days or more a month. When that is the case being in a dark quiet room all the time isn't an option. So we push through the pain to live our lives. Having the understanding of those around us is crucial in coping.
COMPLEX EMOTIONS (2 months ago)
The first time I got a migraine I woke up screaming,and I was taken to the hospital,I wanted to die.They suck.
Shadow Bunniee (2 months ago)
Fook I have a migraine.
wolf woof (2 months ago)
witnessed by Ceeday
Illien Galene (2 months ago)
I would love to have a Scishow about MS.
damnitdrarry (2 months ago)
I've only had a migraine once and I'm so glad I haven't had it since then and it was absolutely terrible. I threw up twice and my dogs wouldn't stop barking even tho I was upstairs it felt like they were right beside me. I was literally crawling around crying because I was alone and didn't know what to do. I only have a headache rn thank god
Kstarx (2 months ago)
STILL MY FAVOURITE VIDEO ON YOUTUBE 2 YEARS LATER, Sick of people saying oh I have a migraine... really and youre here... at the bar... in town ... at work ... and just took 2 advil and youre ok ... really ... nope you just have a headache
ismael aw hussein (3 months ago)
migraines awras then epilepsy,wouldnt wish one on my worst enemy
ismael aw hussein (3 months ago)
u mean melatonin
Twisties T (3 months ago)
I had one today
Sarah Leonard (3 months ago)
Yup, and with this grab bag of awful symptoms you never know which ones you're going to suffer from one attack to the next. I've had everything from an otherwise normal headache accompanied by a strange numbness that travels up one arm, across my face, and down the other arm, to painless episodes of slurred speech and greyed-out vision, to an excruciating headache that came on like a thunderclap and was so bad I broke one of my teeth by clenching my jaw too hard (to be fair, it was a crown, not a healthy tooth). Mostly I get the "otherwise normal" headaches, so I consider myself lucky. My heart goes out to all of you who suffer intensely painful migraines!
Laurem says yee (3 months ago)
I've literally gotten migraines after walking inside when it's bright outside. My eyes didn't adjust to the light so I got sick and dizzy and half blind with a throbbing headache that was enough to knock me over. That's the worst one I've ever had most of them are from dust pollen or weather.
SpookiestWaifu (3 months ago)
U get so annoyed when people call headaches, migraines. I've had times where I couldn't see anything because of a migraine, pretty much fully blind.
John Boone (3 months ago)
I've had a migraine before. So far it's only happened once, but by God was it the worst thing I've ever experienced. Those of you who deal with them on a more regular basis, you have deepest sympathies.
Tramixor (3 months ago)
I have migraines without headaches. I have eye pain and constant vomiting instead.
Maxime Dijkstra (3 months ago)
Am i the Only one who does bot feel my arm during a migraine
Lisa F (3 months ago)
I once got a migraine at school... I slowly felt weaker, kind of like I was gonna fall over, and then the nausea rolled in. I literally had to run to the washroom to throw up. I threw up quite a few times, and on the drive home, I had to wear sunglasses because my eyes were super sore and sensitive. I ended up spending a lot of the day in a cool, really dark room😶
Kingandhorse (4 months ago)
Important, i had severe migranes for many years causing some causes to hosptalise me, the cause was a back injury, if you suffer from back migranes i HIGHLY reccomend seeing a chiropractor for a check on your neck, that is what caused mine, he took me through some treatment and i havent had a migrane for 8-9 months now! It might just help you!
TheDerpy Kitty (4 months ago)
Damn. I’ve been having loads of this recently. It’s either I’m sleeping or dying from these.
The Cat Ate My Shoe (4 months ago)
I take Maxalt for mine.
Andromeda (4 months ago)
I get migraines, I think that my main trigger is dehydration. Al, though some times it’s weather change. My typical one is about 10-12 hours.
drama queen (4 months ago)
I have a migraine right now
Martina Soldevilla (4 months ago)
got my first attack last night wtf i dont know if im exaggerating or my brain is going to replace my heart for imitating the beat of my heart and it feels like its going to crack my freaking skull
Charlie202 (4 months ago)
Accurate. I get chronic migraines with my aura being severe double vision and triggers being weather, light, literally anything abnormal and it usually lasts about 5-7 hours of throbbing pain on my tempols. It's genetic, from my mom's side. Taken every pill known to man, but they don't usually work for a while
Emm Jones (4 months ago)
He mentioned strong smells and that triggers migraines for me. Scented candles, air freshners, perfumes, some flowers...
kate ryan (4 months ago)
Brandon Diaz (4 months ago)
It’s a good thing I have several different brains. So if one brains hurts, I take it out, but in the fridge let it cool down, and then put a colder brain in my head and then boom migraines gone. Deal with it.
Uvaldo Luna (4 months ago)
I’ve never had one. Or I don’t think so.
Drippy Too Real (4 months ago)
Like I thought only females can get them
Drippy Too Real (4 months ago)
I just had my first one today
Kathryn Spaulding (4 months ago)
Thank you so much! I've had them since I was young and I've experienced far to many people who don't believe migraines can be "that bad". I'd never wish it on anyone, but it's so tiring trying to explain it to those who can't comprehend it.
MrMiikeeeey (4 months ago)
I've had a migraine a few times lost vision each time then vomited it's so bad
your uncool niece (4 months ago)
I used to get excruciatingly painful migraines along with vomiting. My mom always insisted on keeping those awful Glade plug in air fresheners with super strong smells and it would make it so much worse. Thankfully after puberty my migraines went away, but migraines were the worst pain I've ever felt in my life.
FaiLovex3 (5 months ago)
So everything causes a migraine
cairy hart (5 months ago)
Have daily hemiplegic migraine type 2 and often Facepalm multiple times during videos that "describe" migraines but this one is actually pretty darn good. Respect.
minecraft 12123 (5 months ago)
I’ve never had one and my brother just had one and everyone was like “it’s his first migraine” and blah blah and I was like wow this must be really important and I was very right
Jack kenneth Beyer (5 months ago)
Are people with depression more likely to have migraines because of the drop in serotonin levels?
This dude speaks so fast. Honestly i got a migraine listening to him ffs
acrobatsutr (5 months ago)
The pain of a migraine is unbearable. All you gotta do is tough it out, sometimes medication won't even work. Honestly I'd rather go through childbirth, break my ribs and have kidney stones instead of experiencing the pain of a headache ever again. If I could trade it in for another type of pain, I would!!
Brenna Omerzo (5 months ago)
Tara Maners (5 months ago)
1:15 I yawned 🤣
JJcraft (6 months ago)
GothicGamer2012 (6 months ago)
I have migraines on a rare occasion. My warning is a small spot in my peripheral vision in which I can't see. Within that spot of blindness I see what looks like a lightening strike and it flashes extremely bright, vivid colours as it grows over the rest of my vision. Very difficult to read or see where I'm going at that point. Then comes dizziness, fatigue, light and sound sensitivity and nausea. I take a couple of naproxen at first onset and lay in a dark room which prevents it progressing but the light sensitivity will set it off again if I'm not careful about slowly getting used to the light again. I usually spend an hour or so getting used to the light again by slowly opening a blind bit by bit every 10 minutes. Even when the visual aura is gone I can't just open the window and be fine as it will immediately come back. The worst one I had lasted an entire day and I still felt crap for the next 2 days. It doesn't help that it was also my first one, took place in the middle of a college class and I had no idea wtf was wrong with me, just that I was suddenly losing my vision. That's definitely scary losing your vision without warning and you don't know why. Migraines are worse than headaches by far. I'd take a headache any day to a migraine. At least I can still function with a headache.
Aidan Mousavi (6 months ago)
who's watching this while having a migraine. God sake my head is dying EDIT: OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW OW. AAAHHHHH MY HEAD. OW OW
Amy S (6 months ago)
Soooo... Basically Women get headache's / migraine's all our lives! lmao :P (me included)
NullBite (6 months ago)
I remember a few years ago I started experiencing ocular migraines that stopped after a few weeks but they would last for about 30 minutes and I would lose a lot of my vision and the first time it happened it was terrifying because I thought I was going blind
Pulse SacuL (6 months ago)
i always get migranes and they are so painful, i get aura first then it goes away and i get a fat migrane headache for like 6 hours, and plus my eyes are really sore after the aura. you do not want to get them
I dont know how Im supposed to tell if its a migraine
The Watchers (6 months ago)
I get migraines all the time and they are painful
Ali Cham (6 months ago)
Smells like petrol, burning, and asphalt are big triggers for my migraines. It's horrible when you're going about your daily life and you smell something and you have to rush to try and prevent a migraine, but you know it's only a matter of time until one sets in and ruins your next few days.
Jay's Canine (6 months ago)
Ahhhh **migraine start** Ah FU** I can't see(I'm also half blind in my right eye and I'm also Colour blind. Great.)
Allison B. (6 months ago)
I get migraines about 3 times a year on average. Surprisingly they happened at one yearly event multiple times in a row. I think you can understand why I don't like sticking around the event.
Karin Melby (6 months ago)
My dad gets migraines so when I get them, he knows what's up. Sounds don't bother me, but light and smells do really bad. So I hide in my room, turn on some metal softly, use my lavender vanilla pillow mist (the one scent that actually helps) and sleep for 12-36 hours. Longest migraine I've had lasted 4 days. That was hell. It was the only one that actually made me vomit. Usually I get a bit queasy, but never throw up for real.
Tina Abrahamson (6 months ago)
Och! Migraines are truly miserable. I get them. 😟
Riana John (6 months ago)
I have one right now it’s hurts a lot
school sucks (7 months ago)
got an ad for doctors who specialize in migraines...
Jacob (7 months ago)
Oh Jesus if I had to choose between working for an entire year non stop or having a migraine I'd pick work all year
Wicked Kitten (7 months ago)
I suffer from mirgranes for about 5 years now. My worst trigger is my mental health. I also suffer from bpd and my physical and psychological well beeing is direktly linked. Have to send your video to my bf so he will understand, migraines are not like his usual "headache after a heavy night out"
Tim L (7 months ago)
If it is caused by a sharp drop in serotonin why does MDMA not cause migraine?
Ella Stevens (7 months ago)
I had a five day headache with photosensetivity and nausea and was told it was sinuses 👌🏻
vf fa (7 months ago)
Aura migraine... You will vomit and then you will want to smash your head into a wall so you can go unconscious... Ahh... I love it
ted myrick (7 months ago)
i get these aura an they a have a panic attack i get them months apart but once had them back to back days I've had maybe 8-12 the last three years. I have terrible headaches and drink a lot cola and i'm on methadone maintenance
DeathbyPixels (7 months ago)
When I get a migraine, I always get a bunch of big black spots in my vision, peaking around noon-ish and giving me tunnel vision, then disappearing as the pain sets in and I am out for the day. Luckily, they only last for a day.
Kendall Kotcher (7 months ago)
When I got my first migraine it was so bad I didn’t know what it was so my workplace had to call 911. All my vitals were fine so they didn’t know what it was either (which I find troubling...) It started with an aura. I realized I couldn’t see one of my campers across the field so I sat out. Then I realized I couldn’t see the campers sitting directly next to me. Then I started to get an extremely bad headache. Then my whole left side of the body went numb and that’s when I freaked out 😔when EMS couldn’t figure it out, I went to the doctor and they immediately knew what it was—although after driving there I ended up puking... I didn’t even know it ran in my family. Just not fun 😂
Kitty Mckenzie (7 months ago)
I get aura, then I get mine .. I get them rarely .. but they are sooo bad I have to go to hospital
Jihyo Twice •o• (7 months ago)
I lost vison during my migraine
Liz Armstrong (7 months ago)
This was the video I was looking for I had one before I thought I was taking a stroke
Selene Ardens (8 months ago)
Can you guys explain Rorschach tests (Ink blots)? Do they really tell you anything about your personality or just bull?
That Girl (8 months ago)
Turns out I had my first migraine yesterday. It was mild though, which I didn't know migraines could be. But since I'll probably have more in the future I'm very worried I'll have bad ones.
The83rdTrombonist (8 months ago)
I need a video on cluster headaches. I get migraines but cluster headaches... I'd take a migraine any day over one of those
Trine418 (8 months ago)
I once had a migraine with a lot of symptoms like a stroke. I experienced numbness in the right side of my body, slurred speech, and I could no longer write textmessages on my phone ( I couldn't recognise the letters). I got extremely scared because I was sure something was seriously wrong with my brain, and I went to the doctor. After 4-5 hours with nausea and extreme headache I would vomit and all of a sudden all symptoms were gone. So glad the doctor was able to correctly diagnose me immediately cause I was freaking out!
preClassic (8 months ago)
Oh no... this is why I had a migraine for three weeks until I started taking my SSRI again... oh no
Victoria Fosler (8 months ago)
When I get a migraine, I briefly have a sensation of euphoria, then I see auras for an unknown amount of time in which I run to sit down. The migraine then hits and I can do nothing but wait for the pain to make me pass out and hope I'm still functional when I come too. I've had them since puberty hit and they're more terrifying now that I'm in college and could strike at any time. Stay strong, fellow sufferers.
Thisnamestillsucks (8 months ago)
Smelling sweet things gives me a migraine.
Fuzzy_FoxAndFuzzy_Dog (8 months ago)
Never had on
SaveTheCraig (8 months ago)
People say you get eye problems when you have a headache, but I usually don't. I always thought I was getting migraines all the time, but what if I'm not??? Most of the symptoms he really don't apply to me. Ok here's how my "migraines" go. It starts with my head hurting, then it gets worse and worse, until I can't be in a room with loud noises or bright lights. I go to my room, in complete darkness, and fall asleep. Sometimes I wake up and go throw up, but that's it. I sleep all day, and wake up and it's fine. Well most of the time at least. Sometimes I wake up and still feel like crap lol. Sometimes. But yeah. Some people have told me that it's linked to my eye sight. I need glasses because I have astigmatism. So when I go for a long time without them I get migraines. But I also got them when I wear them. Very frequently, actually. It's very weird. Since I got my glasses my migraines have gone down though. I get them less often. Wow this is probably the longest comment I've made. Probably a pain to read. Ok I'm done now. XD
Sydney Tonkin (8 months ago)
So could antidepressants potentially treat migraines? Or rather prevent them?
Jason Paul (8 months ago)
Got prescribed 'Nortriptyline' which is marketed as one and it's the only thing I've ever used to suppress them almost entirely. Wasn't big on the idea at first but didn't have much a choice and it actually worked. Only bad thing is you need to keep taking them because if you stop for a week or so, the migraines will be back like normal and it takes days before it takes effect again.
e7seif (8 months ago)
About the "dark, quiet room"....This isn't always the case. I know I'm not the only person with migraines who seeks out distractions from what is otherwise a torturous nightmare. If I can, I will watch Netflix, browse the internet, listen to podcasts, or try to play simple games. If I can do these things with a loved one, all the better. (Because migraines, and the side effects of the powerful meds for them, can be scary.) Anything to keep from being left alone in a dark room with the pain. However, it can depend very much on the type of pain I'm having. I can even semi-function and complete simple chores if I'm having sharp, "bright" pain. The deep, grinding pain is the nightmare pain that really stops me, but I'll usually at least have a radio on low to focus on. Again, anything to not focus on the pain for even a moment here and there, is welcome. It's all still misery, and not fun like doing these things when not in pain, mind you.

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