Many people laugh about it: a person who suddenly acts intoxicated and passes out. But don’t laugh just yet. This may be a sign of a rare type of migraine called a basilar type migraine.
Scientists believe that the basilar artery may or may not cause these headaches. Its cause is uncertain. It appears to commonly affect young adults, however, though the reason why is also unclear — at least not yet.
Here’s what you need to know: basilar migraines will not kill you. They need to be treated immediately, however, when the symptoms first start to appear. This can prevent or dull some of the pain that can accompany it.
So what are the symptoms of a basilar type migraine?
Changes in vision
Basilar type migraines can affect how you see — symptoms often include double vision or sudden dizziness. You may have trouble looking around without feeling faint or dizzy.
Changes in speech
People with basilar type migraines usually begin slurring their speech or have trouble speaking clearly once an attack approaches. It may mimic the symptoms of someone who is intoxicated or having a stroke.
Here’s how basilar type migraines differ from strokes–you’ll never feel sudden weakness or numbness on one side of your body. Instead, people with these types of migraines may feel a tingling sensation all over their body. In some cases, a person may pass out from the severity of the symptoms.
If you experience two or more these symptoms, then you may be experiencing a basilar type migraine. Treatment should be on your first agenda — not treating the headache early could lead to increased pain once it sets in.
Luckily, this type of headache responds to normal migraine medications — namely, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) or acetaminophen combination drugs. Prescription medications can also help. Drinking plenty of water, lying down in a dark room and getting enough rest may help dull the symptoms if medicine isn’t readily available.
The risk for loss of unconsciousness is high for basilar migraine sufferers, however, making it imperative to avoid the operation of heavy machinery or vehicles during the attack. Rest, medicine and quiet are vital for making it through this attack.