Migraine is a type of a headache in which severe throbbing pain with pulsating sensation affects the one half of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days.
It may start in your childhood or may not occur until early adulthood. The most important risk factor of migraine is a family history.
Types of Migraine
There are basically two types of migraine
- Migraine with aura
- Migraine without aura
What is Aura?
Aura is a stage when you may have problems with your vision, sensation, movement, and speech. You may feel a prickling or tingling sensation in your face, arms or legs and see bright spots or light flashes.
Symptoms of Migraine
Migraine symptoms may include:
- Frequent yawning
- Neck stiffness
Aura phase of migraine has the following symptoms:
- Difficulty in speaking clearly
- Tingling sensation in your face arms and legs
- Seeing shapes and light flashes
- Temporarily losing vision
The next phase is known as the attack phase. In some people, this phase can overlap or occur during an aura. Attack phase symptoms can last from an hour to days. This includes;
- Increased sensitivity to light and sound
- Dizziness or feeling faint
- Pain on one side of your head, either on the left side, right side, the front, or the back, or in your temples
- Pulsing severe pain
After the attack phase, a person will often experience changes in mood and feelings. These can range from feeling euphoric or happy to feeling very fatigued. The time period and intensity of these phases are different in different people.
Sometimes you need medical help for the relief from a migraine. But in many cases, you can get rid of this severe pain by just avoiding the triggers that cause the pain. There are medicines available that can help to relieve a migraine or make it less painful. Sometimes self-help remedies combined with medicines can help you to get relief and little changes in lifestyle can also be beneficial. Ask your doctor about different treatments for migraine. You can find the best general physician in Lahore and other main cities of Pakistan through Marham.
Here are some common triggers that can initiate a migraine;
- Stress: Stress due to workload can cause a migraine.
- Sensory stimuli: Bright lights, pulsating music or sounds, strong smells-including perfume, paint thinner, and other can trigger a migraine
- Foods: Cheese, salty foods, alcohol, and food additives like sweetener aspartame and preservative like Monosodium glutamate (MSG) can act as a trigger. Sometimes skipping meals and dehydration can also act as a trigger for a migraine.
- Changes in the wake-sleep pattern: Less sleep or very long sleep can act as a trigger for migraine in some people. Similarly jet lag also causes a migraine.
- Physical factors: Exertion and intense physical work can also trigger a migraine. Even exertion of sexual activity may also act as a trigger for a migraine.
Causes of migraine are still unknown. But environmental and genetic factors may be considered as the main cause of migraine. According to the research, women are 3 times more likely to have a migraine. Hormonal changes in women before or after menstruation also act as a trigger of a migraine.
Here are some remedies that are helpful in treating migraine attacks;
- Painkillers: Over the counter (OTC) medicines like painkillers (acetaminophen and NSAIDs) are helpful in treating migraine.
- Scalp and temple massage: Massaging your scalp and forehead gently with or without oil can help in reducing migraine pain.
- Lying down in a dark quiet room: By avoiding the triggers like light and noise, you can manage your migraine
- Placing a cold pack on your forehead or behind your neck: By placing a cold pack or cloth on your neck or on the forehead you can get relief from your migraine.
- Trying to relax and get some sleep: Factors like stress, exertion, and sleeplessness cause the migraine attack. Having a sound sleep and taking some rest can act as a treatment for a migraine.
A slight change in your lifestyle can also help you to prevent migraine attacks. Similarly avoiding foods that trigger pain is a helpful tip, when you know you have this problem. Sometimes people cannot get relief with simple treatment and need special treatment for a migraine. Seek help from your doctor if your problem is severe.
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