Migraine is a neurological condition characterized by severe debilitating throbbing headaches. Often accompanied by several additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to light & sound, severely affecting the daily life of a person.
What is a migraine? How does it feel like?
Migraine affects different people in different ways. Every person has his or her own set of triggers, symptoms severity and frequency. It commonly feels like a pulsing, throbbing headache on just one side of the head. It gets worse with lights, smell, sounds or physical activity. As per medical classification, there are over 150 types of headaches that can be classified into broad types- primary and secondary headaches. Migraine is a primary headache meaning there is no other health condition that causes it. Secondary headaches are symptomatic headaches of other health issues. Many people even experience a warning system named as aura either before or during the headache. It includes visual disturbances, seasonal symptoms difficulty speaking and other disturbances.
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
The migraine symptoms differ in different people. It mostly happens in stages. These include:
There are subtle warnings that can be noticed one or two days before an upcoming migraine. These are:
- Fluid retention
- Increase in urination
- Extreme mood changes from euphoria to depression
- Neck stiffness
- Food cravings
- Frequent yawning
Auras refer to the reversible symptoms that can occur either before or during a migraine episode. They are mostly visual but also includes many other changes. Some common aura symptoms experienced before a migraine are:
- Difficulty in speaking
- Numbness or weakness in one side of the body or face
- Loss of vision
- Pins and needles feeling in arms and legs
- Visual disturbances: such as coloured flashes/halos/floating circles in the visual field
A migraine attack can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. The frequency of these attacks differs from one person to another. The symptoms of a full-blown migraine attack are:
- Pain on one or both sides of the head
- Throbbing or pulsatile pain
- Extreme sensitivity to touch, smell, light, and sound
- Vomiting and nausea
This refers to the confusion and drained-out feeling experienced after a migraine attack. Many people feel elated after an episode. Avoid any sudden movement of head as it may bring back the pain briefly.
What are the common triggers and causes of migraine?
Research is still going on understanding the exact causes of migraine though environmental factors and genetics are said to play a major role in the same. Some of the common migraine triggers that may bring about an attack are:
- Alcohol, Carbonated drinks, caffeinated drinks
- Hormonal changes
- Home or work stress
- Changes in sleeping pattern
- Changes in weather & bright sunlight
- Certain foods cheese, chocolates
Taking painkillers in excessive doses can cause serious side effects. In order to manage your migraine effectively, it is good to consult with the best neurologist. Accord hospital in Delhi/NCR have some of the top neurologists of the country to help you in managing your condition in a better and safer way.