Migraine Headache and its Management
What is a migraine?
Recurrent headache attacks that are typically unilateral and occasionally accompanied by sensory or visual symptoms, generally known as an aura, which most frequently appear before the headache but may also happen during or after, describe migraine, a complicated illness. The hereditary predisposition to migraine is greatest in women.
A migraine headache pain can be so intense that it interferes with one's regular activities and can persist for hours or even days.
A warning sign known as an aura may appear before or concurrently with some persons' headaches. Visual disturbances like blind spots or light flashes can be part of an aura, as can other disturbances like tingling in one arm or leg or on one side of the face.
Some migraines can be prevented and made less painful with medication. The correct medications and self-help techniques, and lifestyle modifications may be helpful.
Categories of migraine
These are the following types of migraines:
- Ophthalmoplegic migraine.
- With brainstem aura.
- Migraine without headaches.
- Abdominal migraine.
- Status migrainosus.
- Migraine with or without aura.
What are the causes of migraine?
Numerous factors can be the cause of migraines headaches, such as:
Many women experience headaches when estrogen levels fluctuate, such as before or during menstrual periods, pregnancy, or menopause.
- Aged cheeses, salty meals, and processed foods may bring on migraines. These include the food preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) and the artificial sweetener aspartame. Also, missing meals regularly can trigger migraines.
- One hormonal medication that can exacerbate migraines is oral contraceptives.
- Vasodilators like nitroglycerin and oral contraceptives can make migraines worse.
- Some people experience migraines when exposed to strong scents like perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and such.
- Consumption of alcoholic beverages, particularly wine, and beverages like coffee, can trigger moderate to severe migraine headaches.
- Stress at work or home.
- For certain people, sleep deprivation or excessive sleep can cause migraines.
- Migraines may be brought on by excessive physical activity, including sexual activity.
- A change in the weather or barometric pressure may bring on a migraine.
- These migraine causes differ from person to person and may differ in severity too.
How are migraines diagnosed?
We should know the symptoms and diagnostic approaches to understand how to treat migraine.
Despite their severe symptoms, migraines nearly seldom have an underlying cause that is detectable through testing, including brain MRIs. Even in extreme cases, many doctors do not advise brain imaging if the patient's symptoms are migraine-typical and a comprehensive neurological assessment is normal.
In one of the four known genes that might cause the disorder known as familial hemiplegic migraine, a single genetic mutation can cause migraines in some uncommon families. For the great majority of patients, there are no available genetic tests. Because the problem cannot be identified with a scan or blood test, a skilled doctor must make the diagnosis.
Fix an appointment at the best neurology hospital in Hyderabad with our specialist to get treated for your symptoms of migraine.
What are the complications associated with migraines?
Persistent aura without infarction:
A persistent headache that lasts longer than three days is known as status migrainosus. People feel worn out or perhaps crippled as a result. They may not get enough rest because of the discomfort and nausea, or they might vomit a lot and become dehydrated. Also, some can even require hospital treatment. This particular type of migraine frequently develops after taking excessive amounts of painkillers.
A migrainous stroke or migraine attack is an emergency that can happen suddenly. Always accompanied by an aura, a collection of strange sensations like light flashes, blind patches, and tingling in the hands or cheeks. The risk of stroke and migraine is highest among women under 45 who use birth control and smoke.
Auras are possible in one in four migraine sufferers. After an attack, it can, however, linger for longer than a week. Rarely, an aura and symptoms like breathing difficulties and numbness might last for months or even years. Without any actual bleeding, the symptoms can resemble those of a stroke or brain bleeding. Another name for a stroke is an infarction.
This unusual circumstance can resemble an epileptic episode. It occurs during or right after an auratic migraine. Sometimes, epilepsy and migraines coexist. But scientists don't fully understand why.
All other complications include depression and anxiety, vertigo, and sleeplessness.
How to treat migraines?
Migraines can last a few hours to a few days, and certain treatments efficiently answer the most crucial question - how to cure migraine?
The best migraine treatment is to prevent them from happening in the first place. Prevention usually involves dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, vitamin supplements, and daily prescription drugs. Most preventive medications, including blood pressure, antidepressant, and epilepsy meds, are also frequently used for other medical conditions.
Early treatment of specific headache bouts is preferred, frequently using one or more of the following treatments: triptans, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antiemetics, and occasionally opioids or steroids. However, some people experience very strong and persistent migraines—and in some cases, even chronic ones—that endure for weeks, months, or even years.
What can be done to prevent migraine?
Migraines can be treated and prevented with medicine. The most efficient strategy to treat migraines is frequently combining medication with behavioural techniques and a healthy lifestyle.
People who suffer from migraines can implement the following methods to prevent migraines.
- Turn off the lights.
- Try temperature therapy.
- Sip a decaffeinated drink.
- Establish regular sleep hours.
- Unwind at the end of the day.
- Lessen distractions.
- Avoid trying hard to sleep.
- Make sure to eat all meals.
- Keep a food journal.
- Avoid foods that trigger migraines.
- Exercise regularly.
- Manage time wisely.
- Take regular breaks.
- Keep a migraine diary.
- Strive for balance.
How do people live with migraines?
Maintaining a regular schedule makes it easier to deal with migraines. Set daily bedtimes and wake-up times ahead of time. Most people can prevent migraine headaches by sticking to their usual meal and snack times. Because their bodies will know what to expect next, consistency can help reduce migraine attacks.