Migraines are commonly diagnosed based on symptoms, since there are no specific tests to detect and confirm this condition.
To be satisfied that a person suffers from migraines, a doctor needs to establish a pattern of recurring headaches. These headaches may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea and vomiting or preceded by warning signs (called aura) such as vision problems or stiffness in the neck.
On the other hand, migraines can occur unpredictably and in the absence of any other symptoms, which can make diagnosis difficult to confirm. Migraines can also occur on an infrequent basis, sometimes even years apart, which can complicate or delay diagnosis. Furthermore, a person can suffer from a silent headache which is characterized by symptoms of migraine such as nausea and aura but no actual headache. This can also be a challenge to diagnose.
Some of the steps taken in the diagnosis of migraine include:
People should see their doctor if they feel they cannot manage their migraines with over-the-counter pain relief. People should also arrange an appointment with their doctor if any of the following apply: