Migraine is a neurological disorder in which people suffer recurring attacks of moderate to severe pain that can last for hours to days. During a migraine headache or attack, the sufferer experiences intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head accompanied by nausea and vomiting. This condition is three times more common in women as compared to men.
It is associated with a number of autonomic nervous system symptoms. When a person gets migraine attack he/she tries to lie down in a dark and quiet place. A lot of studies have proved that during a migraine attack, a third of people perceive aura migraine symptoms including blind spots or tingling in arms or legs.
Types and symptoms of migraine:
There are two types of migraine attacks.
- Migraine without aura- This migraine type is the most common and its symptoms include headache on one side of the head and sometimes on both sides. The pain in this migraine type may be moderate or severe, and the movements of the head may make it worse. Migraine without aura is often observed in the morning, but can also happen at any time of the day or the night and gradually gets worse that can last from 4 to 72 hours. Some of the migraine symptoms under this type include feeling sick and vomiting. There are other symptoms also that sometimes occur, these include blurred vision, poor concentration, and diarrhoea, sweating and going pale.
- Migraine with Aura- Aura happens before or during migraine headaches. Some migraine symptoms with aura include visual disturbances like flashes of light, touching sensations that are sensory, movement or speech disorders. These symptoms begin gradually for several minutes and then last for 20 to 60 minutes. However, it has been examined that most people experience migraine headaches without aura.
Also read: Migraine: Causes, Symptoms And Treatment
What are the causes of migraine?
Researchers are still doing studies to find out the exact triggering cause of migraine symptoms. Some studies have found that various brain activities trigger migraine symptoms, but the exact chain of events remains unclear. Below are some of the mechanisms that may trigger a migraine to happen:
- Family history- Migraine is not an inherited condition, but it may occur in several members of the same family. That is why there is some probability of genetic factors involved in migraine. Studies have shown that you are more likely to develop migraine symptoms if you have one or more close relatives who have the condition.
- Hormonal changes in women- Estrogens level fluctuations in women may trigger headaches.
- Foods- Some foods including salty and processed ones may trigger migraines. Moreover, skipping the meals or fasting may also trigger migraine attacks.
- Stress- Stress is like the mother of serious illnesses and it is also a common trigger for migraine. You can lower down the stress by doing relaxation exercises by taking deep breath.
Also read: How to Manage Migraine Attacks at Work
Coping up with the migraine:
Migraine can’t be cured, but your doctor will help you manage the condition. He may recommend you various treatment options including medications and lifestyle changes in order to treat your condition. Drugs to provide you relief from migraine symptoms are as follows:
- Pain relievers- Your doctor may prescribe you Aspirin and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) like Ibuprofen in order to provide you relief from migraine.
- Triptans- Triptans work efficiently by relieving the pain and other symptoms associated with migraines. Sumatriptan and Rizatriptan are the medicines that come under the category of Triptans. People can easily avail these migraine drugs in nasal sprays and injections form.
- Anti-nausea medications- Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, with or without vomiting. To deal with the condition, doctors prescribe Chlorpromazine, Metoclopramide or Prochlorperazine.
Whether you are taking medications or not, but you may get benefit by doing some changes in your lifestyle. You can reduce your symptoms by avoiding triggering factors, reducing the effects of estrogens, and by sleeping and regularly exercising.
Also read: Foods That Trigger Migraine
Though migraine does not have any permanent cure, but it can be properly managed. You just need to follow your doctor’s instructions in order to lead a healthy life.