A migraine has become most common disorder worldwide. A migraine is not just a headache but is a chronic neurological disease affecting a huge section of the population. A migraine affects the daily activities and normal functioning of the patient.It is most common among the age group of 25 to 55 years, though it can affect the people of all ages including children. If not treated on time, it can lead to severe lifelong disability. Migraine attack causes chronic pain and is unbearable. Along with pain, some other symptoms are also observed. Some people take a migraine to be a normal headache and avoid the treatment. A migraine is undiagnosed in many cases. It is important to understand what a migraine is?
A migraine means?
A migraine is a chronic form of a headache. Pain in a migraine can be from moderate to severe. Pain is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to light or sound or visual disturbances. This throbbing pain usually occurs in one half of the head and may last from 2 to 72 hours.
Signs and Symptoms
The severity, duration, and frequency of attacks of a migraine vary from person to person. The migraine attack is divided into phases and accordingly the symptoms occur.
The prodrome phase: This phase is the early stage of a migraine. This occurs in a maximum number of people suffering from a migraine. The symptoms include a headache, irritability, fatigue, depression or euphoria, constipation or diarrhea, mood swings, and sensitivity to smells or noise.
The aura phase: This phase occurs just before a headache starts and may continue with a headache. This can last for a couple of minutes or for an hour as well. Symptoms such as visual disturbances are observed in this phase. Numbness or tingling of the senses, speaking problems, motor disorders, and hallucinations are also observed during this phase.
The pain phase: This is called as headache phase where the pain is throbbing and can be severe. It gradually increases and becomes worse with physical activities. Duration and frequency vary among age groups. Also, the frequency of attacks may increase with time from one to several a weeks or for a lifetime. The symptoms include nausea, light-headedness, vomiting, and sensitivity to smell, sound or light, fatigue, confusion. Irritability, blurred vision, nasal congestion, diarrhea, sweating or frequent urination. Nausea is experienced by a maximum number of such people.
The postdrome phase: This phase occurs when migraine attack ends. This shows the symptoms after an acute headache is over. In this phase symptoms like head pain, gastrointestinal disorders, cognitive problems, mood swings and weakness along with sore feeling in the area affected by a migraine are observed.
The causes of a migraine are still a mystery to be solved. The causes comprise a mixture of genetic factors and environmental factors. It can be due to various biological or physiological conditions.
Genetic factors: A family history of a migraine is supposed to be the one of the common cause of a migraine. Twins are more likely at a risk to develop a migraine.
Environmental factors: Environmental factors can trigger migraines such as a change in weather conditions, altitude or wind pressure, change in daily routine or traveling. Changing of lights and loud noise can also trigger a migraine.
Physical factors: Following physical factors can trigger a migraine
- Workload at job or working in shifts
- Poor posture
- Head or neck pain
- Low blood sugar
- Intensive form of exercise
Medications: Use of some form of medications can also trigger a migraine such as:
- Use of contraceptive pills
- Use of hormonal medications
- Use of sleeping medications
Diet: Diet can trigger a migraine such as:
- Fasting or irregular or poor eating habits
- Alcohol consumption
- Having caffeine products in excess
Emotional factors: Emotional factors which can trigger a migraine are:
- Tension and worries
- Family issues
Hormonal factors: Changes in hormonal level also triggers menopause. A woman suffers from a migraine during their menstrual cycle due to change in hormones. This type of a migraine improves after the menopause.
A migraine can be diagnosed on the basis of signs and symptoms only. The main causes are difficult to find out. So if one observed the symptoms should consult the doctor at the earliest. Because, if left untreated it can lead to lifelong disability and can impair the normal functioning of life as well.Leave a reply →