What is a migraine?
Migraine is a type of headache disorder where the patient is affected by recurrent headaches. The pain occurring during migraine is moderate to severe in intensity, and it usually lasts from 2 hours to as long as 72 hours.
The symptoms of migraine
The first and the most obvious symptom of migraine is strong, pulsating headache, and the pain is usually located at one side of the head switching to the other. In addition to headache, migraine is also often followed by nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite and sensitivity to light, scent and sound. Dizziness, blurred vision and fatigue can also occur, and some types of migraine are also followed by seeing an “aura”.
The types of migraine
There are basically two types of migraine – classic migraine (migraine with aura) and common migraine (migraine without aura). Both types are followed by the symptoms described above, but classic migraine is also followed by seeing a so-called aura, which occurs 15 minutes to 1 hour before the attack. The aura involves seeing bright flashing light, dots or wavy lines, experiencing temporary vision loss or distorted vision and having blind spots.
Causes of migraine
The exact cause of migraine is not yet discovered, but the scientists believe it is a result of genetic and environmental factors combined. When it comes to genetics, studies have shown that in about 2/3 of migraine cases, the problem runs in the family. Also, the occurrence of migraine with aura is more common within the family than the occurrence of migraine without aura.
Studies have shown that about 2/3 of those who suffer from migraine attacks also have someone in the family who suffers them as well. Also, there was a study conducted on twins, which showed that there is 34% to 51% risk of developing migraine.
Environmental factors are those factors that trigger the migraine attack, or the so-called triggers. There are plenty of possible migraine triggers, and the most common are: hunger, fatigue, stress, tension headache, not enough sleep and hormonal influence (pregnancy, menstruation or menopause).
Migraine as such is generally not treated. However, there are many conventional and natural remedies for relieving migraine symptoms, as well as for preventing migraine.
In case you are diagnosed with migraine, your doctor can prescribe you a variety of drugs. You can be prescribed pain-relief drugs containing ibuprofen, acetaminophen and caffeine. You can also be prescribed anti-nausea drugs, which help the nausea and vomiting that often follow migraine attack. Some abortive medicines can also be prescribed, and they are used to stop the headache pain and thus stop all the symptoms associated with migraine.
Natural remedies for relieving migraine symptoms are also available, and one of the most common people opt for is acupuncture. Natural remedies are also useful for migraine prevention rather than treatment, and they include massage and relaxation techniques. Avoiding triggers is also an important aspect of migraine prevention, so you should learn to define the triggers and make sure to avoid them in everyday life.