Migraine – Condition

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Overview

Migraine is characterized by a strong headache that may last for many hours or even several days. Pumping or pulsing pain is most often felt on the front side of the head or in the area surrounding the eyes, although it may occur elsewhere. The headache becomes worse with time. Many diverse activities, such as bright light, movement, exercise, and loud noise, seem to produce a great deal more discomfort than they did before. During a migraine attack, vomiting and nausea are common side effects.

Migraines may occur just once or twice a year, on average. It is possible that it occurs on a daily basis. Migraines affect women at a higher rate than they affect men.

There are many different types of migraine headaches. Classic migraines and common migraines are the two types of migraines that are most often encountered.

A warning indication known as an aura signals the onset of a typical migraine attack. The term “migraines with aura” is often used to describe certain kinds of migraines. The aura is often associated with shifts in your perception of reality. It is possible to perceive flashing lights, different colors, a line pattern, or even shadows. You may have temporary visual loss in certain areas of your vision, such as your peripheral vision.

A peculiar smelling or burning feeling on one side of your body, as well as muscular weakness on the other, are other possible symptoms. It’s possible that you’ll have difficulty communicating. You may also have feelings of depression, irritability, and restlessness.

It is possible for auras to last anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes. Auras may appear before or after a headache starts, depending on the situation. It is possible that the agony and the aura may overlap, or that the misery will never arise. Classic migraines are characterized by intense headaches on one or both sides of the head, which may last for many hours.

Auras are absent in most cases of typical migraines. Due to the lack of an aura in such migraines, they are referred to as “migraines without aura.” Common migraines may be more slow than classical migraines, may persist longer, and may cause more disruption to everyday activities than classical migraines. The pain associated with a typical migraine may be restricted to one side of your head. The majority of individuals who suffer from migraines have normal headaches that are not accompanied by an aura.

Causes

Serotonin levels in the body fluctuate, and it is believed that these fluctuations are responsible for the development of migraine headaches. Serotonin performs a variety of functions in the body, and it has been shown to have an impact on the blood vessels. Because of a high level of serotonin in the bloodstream, blood vessels constrict, resulting in headaches (shrink). As the levels of serotonin in the blood drop, they cause blood vessels to dilate (swell). Pain and other complications may result as a result of this inflammation. Another characteristic of migraine headaches is the relationship that exists between them with a series of electrical activities in the brain that is propagating.

Migraines may be inherited, which means they can run in families. There is a 50% risk you will inherit migraines, if one of your parents suffers from this condition. If both your parents suffer from migraines, you will raise your chances to 75%. Migraines appear ultimately to be caused by a mixture of variables, such as genetics, environmental exposure, and lifestyle choices.

Women are more prone to have chronic migraines than men. This is most likely to be attributed to hormones. Monthly hormone levels differences arise around the time of menstruation.

Symptoms

The start of migraine symptoms may occur from 1-2 days before the onset of the headache in question. The prodrome stage is the time period during which the race takes place. Among the symptoms that may manifest themselves at this time are:

·         a strong desire for eating

·         depression

·         yawning excessively due to tiredness or poor energy

·         hyperactivity

·         irritability

·         stiffness in the neck

Whenever a migraine with aura occurs, the aura usually happens after the prodrome stage has gone, but before the headache stage. When you are having an aura, you may notice that your vision, sensation, movement, and speech are impaired somewhat. As an illustration of these problems, consider the following:

·         Speaking clearly is difficult

·         Tingling or prickling sensation in your face, arms, or legs.

·         Seeing shapes, light flashes, or bright spots,

·         Shortly loss of eyesight

The assault attack phase is the phase that follows after the preparation phase. When you get a migraine, the pain is most strong and severe at this stage. It is possible for some people to experience this at the same time as or during an aura attack phase. Symptoms  may persist from a few hours to several days depending on the severity of the assault. It is possible that the migraine symptoms will vary from one person to the next. The following are some examples of signs and symptoms that may occur:

·         Nausea

·         Heightened sensitivity to light and sound

·         Head pain that pulsates and throbs on one side of your head

·         Dizziness or feeling faint pain

·         Vomiting

After passing through the attack phase, a person is often forced to go through the postdrome stage. Mood and emotions are likely to fluctuate during this whole time. These emotions may vary from being euphoric and very joyful, to being tired and indifferent. It is possible that a moderate, sluggish headache may remain.

The duration and severity of these stages will differ from person to person depending on their genetic makeup. It is conceivable that one step of the migraine cycle is skipped and that a migraine episode begins without the presence of a headache.

Diagnosis

The diagnosis is made on the basis of the physical examination and the symptoms. Doctors perform a thorough medical and family history review, as well as a physical exam, to rule out any other potential causes of the symptoms. An imaging test, such as a CT scan or an MRI, can rule out a number of other alternative possibilities, including stroke, tumors, and brain abnormalities.

Treatment

There is presently no migraine therapy or cure for this illness. However, medications may help prevent or halt them and prevent your symptoms from getting worse.

By avoiding things that trigger your migraines, you may also prevent them. Changes with one’s way of life, such as stress reduction and good sleep habits, may be helpful as well.

Common migraine treatments include pain relievers. Pain alleviation is provided. OTC medicines are frequently effective. Precautions should be taken while taking over-the-counter pain medications. Excessive usage may cause rebound headaches or dependence.

When to see a doctor

If you have a headache that won’t go away or that keeps coming back, you should visit a doctor right away. Visit your doctor or go to the emergency department as soon as possible if you are experiencing a severe headache and stiff neck, as well as vomiting, numbness and weakness in your limbs, or trouble speaking.