Millions of people around the world are affected by this neurological disorder, including 30 million in the US alone. About 1 in 4 women, and about 1 in 12 men, develop migraine at some point in their life. More than 80% of people suffering from migraine have other members in the family with the same ailment. It most commonly first starts in childhood or as a young adult. Some people may go for years between attacks. . In some people, the migraine attacks stop in later adult life. However, in some cases the attacks persist throughout life. Women aged 20 to 45 are at greater risk for developing migraine. Symptoms of migraine varies from one person to another. These headaches typically last from 4 to 72 hours.
Understanding The Nature Of Migraine
A migraine is a medical condition more common in women. It is a health condition related to the nervous system of the body. It is caused by vasodilation or the enlargement of blood vessels. This phenomenon causes the nerve fibres that coil around the large arteries of the brain to release chemicals. The release of chemicals causes inflammation, pain, and further enlargement of the artery. This enlargement of the arteries further magnifies the pain.
Migraine is a disease that can be passed from generation to generation. A person with a family history of migraine has a 30% greater chance of suffering from it as compared to others. It is a moderate to severe headache which is usually confined to one side of the head. A true migraine is accompanied by light sensitivity, noise sensitivity and even sensitivity to smells. This is due to the “central sensitization” in the brain meaning, the nerves in your brain are overly sensitive.
Knowing The Types Of Migraine Associated With The Different Symptoms Of Migraine
There are two main types of migraine attack: migraine attack with aura or classic migraine, and migraine attack without aura or common migraine.
The common definition of migraine auras is that the person sees halos around people and objects before the one set of a migraine. People suffering from classic migraines experience an aura before their headaches. Aura is the term used to refer to a whole set of neurological symptoms that precede the onset of a migraine headache and disappear once it develops. The aura stage is not experienced by every person or even every time. It is a visual disturbance associated with outlines of lights or jagged light images.
Typical aura symptoms includes:
• confusion in thinking
• sight loss – partial or blurry vision
• increased feel and touch – or reduced feel and touch
• tingling or numbness of your face
• visual hallucinations
• olfactory hallucinations
• decrease in your hearing ability
• auditory hallucinations
• difficult finding the words you want
Common migraine accounts for 80% of migraine cases. The patient does not experience any aura before a common migraine. It is less severe than classic migraines. People who experience these types of migraines frequently have pulsating or throbbing pain of moderate to severe intensity that is located on a single side of the head. This type of headache is made worse, not better by routine physical activity. This type of migraine tend to reoccur more frequently and carry a more intense level of pain.
Common migraine symptoms includes:
• feeling sick
• sensitive to bright lights or loud noises
• throbbing or pulsating pain
• blurred vision
• poor concentration
• stuffy nose
• going pale
• sensations of heat or cold
• abdominal pain
There are various other types of migraine which are uncommon. These include:
• Abdominal migraine – This mainly occurs in children. Instead of headaches, the child has attacks of abdominal (tummy) pain which last several hours.
• Menstrual migraine – The symptoms of each attack are the same as for common migraine or migraine with aura. Pure menstrual migraine is when migraine occurs only around periods, and not at other times.
• Ocular migraine – This is sometimes called retinal migraine, ophthalmic migraine or eye migraine. It causes temporary loss of all or part of the vision in one eye. Each attack usually occurs in the same eye.
• Basilar-type migraine – The basilar artery is in the back of your head. It used to be thought that this type of migraine originated due to a problem with the basilar artery. Symptoms typically include headache at the back of the head (rather than one-sided as in common migraine).
• Hemiplegic migraine – This may last up to several hours, or even days, before resolving. Symptoms include weakness (like a temporary paralysis) of one side of the body. You may also have other temporary symptoms of vertigo (severe dizziness), double vision, visual problems, hearing problems and difficulty speaking or swallowing.
It is very important to know the different symptoms of migraine. A pattern may emerge, and it may be possible to avoid one or more things that may trigger your migraine attacks. Note down when and where each migraine attack started, what you were doing, and what you had eaten that day.