When To See a Doctor About Your Migraines, According to a TikTok-Famous Doctor

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Anyone who's experienced that heavy clap around their head, the nausea and sensitivity to light, or any one of a number of symptoms, knows that a migraine can be much more than just a headache.  

Dr. Darien Sutton, an emergency medicine physician famous for his medical advice on TikTok, says if you suffer from occasional migraines, you're not alone. "It's very common to experience migraines. Approximately 12 to 15 percent of people experience migraines at some point in their life," he says. 

Migraine Symptoms 

"The basic definition [of migraine] is simply recurrent headaches," according to Dr. Darien. That being said, he goes into more specifics of what people tend to feel when they have a migraine. "That pulsating, throbbing pain that is often but not always one-sided—it's really often associated to sensitivities of light and sound." 

Tips for Reducing Migraine Symptoms At Home  

"When I'm treating patients, I start conservatively, especially with mild or moderate headaches," the doc says. 

He suggests keeping a cold compress on hand for headaches (it works for muscle aches, too, he points out. "Applying a cold compress can really be helpful. And many people don't realize it or know, but caffeine can also be helpful. A cup of coffee can help to eliminate a headache. But be careful not to drink too many cups, because you might end up with a persistent headache and palpitations, which is a bad combination." 

When to Go to the ER for a Migraine 

Red flags to pay attention to are if the migraine "is unrelenting, explosive or violent—or if you've had migraines your whole life and now it has new features or associations to changes in vision, speech, sudden dizziness, weakness or sensation," Dr. Darien says. "Those are reasons that you need to come into the ER and talk to someone like myself."  

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