Migraine is a pain in one side of the head that many people suffer from. It causes them to feel weary and painful, exerting a negative impact upon their life and work. Therefore, treatment becomes necessary and had better be done as soon as possible.
What is a migraine?
Migraine is a sudden, severe pain in one side of the head that may be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to noise and light. Migraines can last for several hours, and patients may even endure migraines for days in some cases.
In fact, migraine headaches seem benign and common amongst people in the age range from 10 to 45. This disease directly affects the patient’s life, activities, and work.
Types of migraine
Migraine falls into the following types:
- Migraine with aura: Patients will see warning signs of an imminent migraine such as seeing flashing lights, wavy lines, or distorted look of objects.
- Migraine without aura: Migraine will come suddenly without any prior warning signs. This is the most common type of migraine.
- Migraine with aura but without headache: This type of migraine is also known as silent migraine. The patients may see warning signs but suffer no headache.
Migraine is a pain in one side of the head that may stem from unhealthy habits, physiological mechanisms or come as a sign of disease.
Causes of migraine
There are various causes of migraine. Nevertheless, no research has figured out the root cause. Besides, for 60% of migraine sufferers, their parents also endure the same, so migraine is a hereditary disease, according to experts.
In addition, migraine may originate from the causes as follows:
- Use of caffeinated beverages, alcohol, especially wine.
- Hormonal imbalance in women: Fluctuation of estrogen levels during pregnancy, menstruation, perimenopause, etc.
- Prolonged and chronic stress.
- Use of hormone-contained drugs like birth control pills.
- Constant exposure to sensory stimuli elements such as deafening sounds (auditory stimuli), harsh lights (visual stimuli), overpowering smells (olfactory stimuli), etc.
- Abrupt changes in sleep habits such as insomnia, oversleep, etc.
- Weather changes.
- Use of processed foods containing additives and preservatives.
Symptoms of migraine
The warning signs of migraine often display about 1-2 days before the pain feelings of migraine. Patients will present with the following symptoms:
- Greater sensitivity to light and noise.
- Sudden mood swings, easy excitement, or depression.
- Sluggishness and weariness.
- Repetitive yawns.
- Changes in taste, even nausea sometimes.
About 15 minutes before the onset of a migraine, the patient will see some slight disorders related to hearing and vision. In particular, they may see black streaks, flashing lights, or nimbus right before their eyes.
If you suffer from severe and frequent headaches, you had better go to see your doctor as soon as possible.
When to see your doctor?
Since migraines come infrequently and within the tolerance level of many sufferers, they feel no need to seek any treatment. Nonetheless, if a migraine is accompanied by the following signs, you had better go to see your doctor immediately because your health may be at risk.
- Migraine in people over the age of 50.
- Increasing frequency and level of pain.
- Migraine accompanied by raging fever and vomiting.
- Chronic headaches, pains due to coughs, sneezes, and nervousness.
- Headaches accompanied by a stiff neck, difficulty speaking, blurred vision.
Who is likely to suffer from migraines?
Migraine can afflict anyone regardless of age or gender. However, if you belong to one of the following groups, you will face a higher risk of contracting migraines than others.
- Those experiencing frequent fatigue and stress.
- Family with members suffering from migraine.
- Use of alcoholic beverages, stimulants, etc.
- Women during pregnancy or women taking birth control pills regularly.
- Women before or during menstruation.
- People who often use sweeteners and MSG (monosodium glutamate).
Methods for diagnosis of migraine
During your health check-up, your doctor will ask you about your health status and common symptoms to establish an initial diagnosis of your disease. The doctor also needs your personal and family medical history.
If your migraine is severe and accompanied by complex symptoms, the doctor will prescribe you the following tests and techniques:
MRI scan: It is to capture the images of your brain and blood vessels via a magnetic field and radio waves. By looking at these brain images, your doctor can diagnose your migraines more correctly and detect other potential diseases hidden in the brain such as tumors, brain hemorrhage, infections, etc.
CT scan: X-rays will help capture detailed cross-sectional images of your brain. Thanks to these images, the doctor can identify your disease status as well as detect some other abnormalities in your brain such as the formation of tumors, brain damage, infections, etc.
Migraines are usually treated with drugs.
How to treat migraines?
Migraine causes pain and discomfort to the sufferers, negatively affecting their life and reducing their productivity. Therefore, it is essential to cure them of this serious disease as soon as possible.
In fact, migraines are usually treated with drugs, two groups of which are commonly used drugs, including:
- Painkillers: to alleviate pains as well as accompanying symptoms. Some recommended drugs are NSAIDs, opioid analgesics, lasmiditan, antiemetics, etc.
- Pain-preventing drugs: to reduce the frequency and level of pain. These drugs are used regularly and long-term, including antidepressants, antihypertensive drugs, antiepileptic drugs, etc.