What are migraines?
Migraines are a recurring type of headache. They cause moderate to severe pain that is throbbing or pulsing. The pain is often on one side of your head. You may also have other symptoms, such as nausea and weakness. You may be sensitive to light and sound.
What causes migraines?
Researchers believe that migraine has a genetic cause. There are also a number of factors that can trigger a migraine, including
-Hormonal changes in women
-Bright or flashing lights
-Too much or not enough sleep
-Caffeine or caffeine withdrawal
-Medication overuse (taking medicine for migraines too often)
What are the symptoms of migraines?
There are four different phases of migraines. You may not always go through every phase each time you have a migraine.
1. Prodrome. This phase starts up to 24 hours before you get the migraine. You have early signs and symptoms, such as food cravings, unexplained mood changes, uncontrollable yawning, fluid retention, and increased urination.
2. Aura. If you have this phase, you might see flashing or bright lights or zig-zag lines. You may have muscle weakness or feel like you are being touched or grabbed. An aura can happen just before or during a migraine.
3. Headache. A migraine usually starts gradually and then becomes more severe. It typically causes throbbing or pulsing pain, which is often on one side of your head. But sometimes you can have a migraine without a headache. Other migraine symptoms may include
- Increased sensitivity to light, noise, and odors
- Nausea and vomiting
4. Postdrome (following the headache). You may feel exhausted, weak, and confused after a migraine. This can last up to a day.
How are migraines treated?
There is no cure for migraines. Treatment focuses on relieving symptoms and preventing additional attacks.
There are different types of medicines to relieve symptoms. They include triptan drugs, ergotamine drugs, and pain relievers. The sooner you take the medicine, the more effective it is.
There are also other things you can do to feel better:
-Resting with your eyes closed in a quiet, darkened room
-Placing a cool cloth or ice pack on your forehead