A headache is an onset of pain which arises in the area of the head and the neck. It is a common occurrence and can happen to anybody but the real problem occurs when this headache is in the form of a Migraine. It is a specific type of a headache which is of varying intensity and accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. If you are experiencing severe unexplained headaches particularly on one side of the head, then you may be suffering from a Migraine.
In some cases, patients with a migraine experience specific warning symptoms or an aura prior to a migraine. It can be in the form of flashing lights or a blind spot in one eye to numbness or weakness involving one side of the body. Exact causes of a migraine are not known but changes in neurotransmitter levels within the brain are thought to play a role. Some of the factors which trigger migraines are –
1. Hormonal changes.
3. Strong stimuli like loud noises.
4. Certain foods.
There are different triggers for a migraine. Anyone who is suffering from a Migraine must have experienced Migraine due to these factors and should keep away from them –
1. In women, migraine may occur due to normal hormone fluctuations which occur with a regular menstrual cycle.
2. Birth control pills also trigger migraines.
3. Food products which are linked with this condition are – red wine, cheese, monosodium glutamate.
4. Exposure to strong stimuli such as bright light, loud noise, and strong smells.
The treatment options are classified into two categories –
1. Pain relieving medication – These medicines are taken during the attacks to ease off the pain and symptoms. You are often advised to rest and sleep in a dark room after taking these medications. It includes aspirin, ibuprofen, Acetaminophen etc. Triptans are a type of medication which constricts blood vessels and block pain pathways in the brain.
2. Preventive medication – They are taken regularly to reduce the severity or frequency of migraines. It is suggested for patients who have four or more debilitating attacks a month. If the attacks last for more than 12 hours and pain-relieving medications are not helping, then you are a candidate for preventive medication. They not only reduce the frequency and severity of the migraines but also increase the effectiveness of symptom-relieving medicines. Cardiovascular drugs, beta blockers, antidepressants, anti-seizure drugs etc are some of the medicines.