A migraine is a severe, painful headache. That can cause intense throbbing or a pulsing sensation in one area of the head and is commonly come with by vomiting, nausea, and extreme sensitivity to light as well as sound. The excruciating pain, which migraines bring, can survive for hours or even days.
What causes migraines?
Although much about the cause of migraines isn’t understood at all, genetics and environmental factors appear to play a role. Whatever the exact mechanism of the headaches, a number of things may trigger them. Some common migraine triggers include:
- Allergies and allergic reactions
- Smoking or exposure to smoke
- Bright lights, loud noises, and certain odors or perfumes
- Physical or emotional stress
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Tension headaches
- Menstrual cycle fluctuations, hormone fluctuations, birth control pills during menopause onset
- Foods containing tyramine (red wine, chicken livers, figs, aged cheese, smoked fish, and some beans), monosodium glutamate (MSG), or nitrates (like bacon, salami and hot dogs)
- Irregular sleep or changes in sleep forms
- Other foods like chocolate, peanut butter, avocado, nuts, banana, citrus, onions, dairy products, and fermented or pickled foods.
Triggers do not invariably cause migraines, and avoiding triggers does not always prevent migraines.
What are the symptoms of migraine?
Migraine headaches often commence in childhood, early adulthood or adolescence. Migraines may move on through four stages, including postdrome, headache, aura and prodrome, though you may not experience every stage. Common symptoms of migraine include:
- Moderate to severe pain, usually confined to one side of the head, but shifting in successive migraines
- Pulsing and throbbing head pain
- Increased sensitivity to sound and also to light
- Raising pain during physical activity
- Inability to do regular activities because of pain
How is migraine treated and prevented?
On quality of life, Migraine exerts a significant impact. Various drugs are available for acute therapy of migraine attacks, namely, specific like triptans or generic such as analgesics/anti-inflammatory. In some instances, prophylaxis therapy is taken into account according to both attack frequencies as well as severity. In the past, the most common criterion used for prophylaxis therapy was represented by the number of attacks per month. Regarding such a pattern essential, the proposed number of attacks per month was about five or more episodes. Later on, demand for prophylaxis considered the consumption of symptomatic drugs as well as increase of migraine frequency in a short period of time as well. Today, prophylaxis therapy is evaluated according to its impact on patients. Hence, a general evaluation of the patient in terms of functional disability as well as quality of life is required to assess the appropriateness of prophylaxis therapy, and evaluating the risk of medication overuse or the presence of concomitant pathologies (e.g., hypertension, epilepsy depression). Furthermore, in cases where the condition arrives at a level of chronicity (chronic migraine), new choices are available today in prophylaxis therapy.