If you've ever had intense, splitting headaches that come out of nowhere, then you've probably experienced a migraine. Migraine is a neurological condition that causes headaches of varying intensity, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head. If you're struggling with migraines and want to know how to deal with them, read on.
Migraine headaches can have varying symptoms in people. Sometimes, the symptoms start manifesting in your body as early as two days before the actual headache. This is known as the prodrome stage, and symptoms can include:
A specific type of migraine, called migraine with aura, is a recurring headache that strikes after or at the same time as sensory disturbances called 'aura'. When you have such a migraine, the aura occurs after the prodrome stage. During this stage, it is possible for people to have issues with their vision, sensation, movement, and speech. People could experience the following symptoms:
When you are in the middle of experiencing a migraine, it is called the 'attack phase'. This is when the symptoms of a migraine feel the most severe, and can last between hours to days. Most people experience at least one of the following symptoms during an attack:
Despite ample research, doctors are unable to ascertain what exactly causes a migraine headache. Studies suggest that they seem to be related to changes in the brain as well as to genetics. In fact, it is also possible to inherit the triggers that give you migraine headaches, like fatigue, bright lights, weather changes, and others. So while it may be hard to figure out the cause, you can watch out for triggers, which can include:
While people can experience several types of migraines, there are two types that are the most common ones. These include migraine with aura and migraine without aura. It isn't necessary that you'll have one or the other--sometimes people can suffer from both types of migraines.
This type of migraine is also referred to as 'common migraine'. In fact, most people who suffer from migraines don't experience an aura.
The International Headache Society has found that people who have migraines without an aura have had at least five attacks that have the following characteristics:
1. Headache attack usually lasting 4 to 72 hours if it’s not treated or if treatment doesn’t work
2. Headache has at least two of these traits:
3. Headache has at least one of these traits:
A migraine with aura is also sometimes called a classic migraine, complicated migraine, and hemiplegic migraine. Approximately 25 per cent of people who suffer from migraine headaches experience migraines with aura. An aura usually occurs before the headache pain begins, but it can continue once the headache starts. Alternatively, an aura may start at the same time as the headache does.
According to the International Headache Society, you must have at least two migraine attacks that have the following characteristics:
1. An aura that goes away, and includes at least one of these symptoms:
2. An aura that has at least two of these traits:
3. Headache isn’t caused by another health problem and the transient ischemic attack has been excluded as a cause.
To treat a migraine, you need to recognise the symptoms that you are experiencing. So observe your symptoms, and follow our guide on how to treat a migraine headache.
Before you go about treating your migraine, you should learn how to prevent it altogether. After all, prevention is better than cure, isn't it? Adopt these measures if you want to prevent having a migraine headache in the first place:
Because it is difficult to figure out what causes a migraine headache, there is no one specific way to treat it. The first step would be to recognise your symptoms and then visit a doctor for a diagnosis. Do not self-diagnose--you don't want to be treated for something that you may not even have! Some of the treatment options your doctor might discuss with you include:
Although there is varying research, most doctors agree that migraines can be hereditary. In fact, more than 70 per cent of migraine sufferers have a family history of migraine, and if both parents of a child are migraine sufferers, there is a 90 per cent chance that their child will also suffer from migraines.
The best thing to do for a migraine is to prevent it before it even shows up. To do this, you will need to observe your symptoms and recognise your triggers. Once you know what triggers your migraine headache, you can avoid them like the plague. Once the headache begins, you can take a pain-killer to treat it.
Medically, it isn't possible for a person to die from the symptoms of a migraine headache, no matter how severe it is. However, sometimes the symptoms of a migraine can also mimic the symptoms of other life-threatening diseases, including stroke and heart disease. So make sure you're able to correctly identify your symptoms.
A migraine can last for as short as four hours and can go up to 72 hours.
So if you've been suffering from migraine headaches, make sure you identify your triggers and seek help from a medical professional before you begin any treatment.
Featured Image: Shutterstock
Introducing #POPxoEverydayBeauty - POPxo Shop's collection of skin, bath & body, and hair products that are fun, effective and 100% fuss-free. To celebrate, we’re giving everyone 25% off on pre-orders so head to POPxo.com/beautyshop and take your beauty routine up a POP!