According to the American Migraine Foundation, estimates are that over 36 million Americans, 3 times more often in women than men, have or suffer migraine headaches at some points in their life.
For the most, reports shown have indicated that a larger percentage of people experience migraines between the ages of 10 to 40.
What is Migraine?
Typically, a migraine is an acute reoccurring headache that often affects one side of the head. They generally last between 4 to 72 hours and sometimes co-occur with vomiting, sensitivity to light and nausea.
Migraines are known to also cause throbbing, a term used to describe the severe intensity that forces the sufferer most times to reduce engagement in all and/or any activities (HIS).
Causes of Migraine
The specific cause of migraine is yet to be discovered. However, the larger believe is that it has a generic cause and its triggers can be inherited. A few examples of these triggers include;
- Skipping meals
- Changes in sleeping patterns e.g too little or too much sleep
- Skipping meals
- Menstruation and or hormonal changes.
Types of Migraine
Generally, what constitutes the types of migraine are usually the signs and symptoms that crop up when one is about having an episode of migraine, during and after. This technically is referred to as Aura (a sensation perceived by a patient that precedes a condition affecting the brain which often occurs before a migraine or seizure).
An aura sometime could begin as early as an hour before experiencing any pain and can affect different senses such as visuals, tastes and touch. It can also last for up to an hour after you might have started having episodes of headaches.
Migraine is therefore subdivided into two; migraine with aura and migraine without aura.
A few examples of migraine with aura include:
- Ophthalmic migraine: This category of migraine usually presents symptoms and signs such as a partial or complete loss of vision in one eye and is often accompanied with mild pains that start behind the eyes and sometimes extends to other part of the head.
- Migraine with brainstem aura: This type of migraine is known to affect women more than men. Hormonal changes have been identified to be the major causality of migraine with brainstem aura.
Some of the common symptoms in this case that precedes any episode of severe headaches would include but is not limited to one being confused or feeling dizzy.
- Status migrainosus: Although uncommon, status migrainosus is one of if not the most severe type of migraine with aura. It usually can last for up to 3days and comes along with acute pain and nausea.
On the other hand, migraines without aura- which is very common- usually presents unclear symptoms such as anxiety and depression.
- Pain relievers such as aspirin or ibuprofen can help relieve migraines that are not severe. There are also pain relievers that are designed to help relieve the pains of acute migraines. Both medication types should, however, be taken with a prescription.
- If nausea happens to be one of the symptoms you are having, you can meet with your medical doctor to help prescribe medications for nausea.
- Preventative medications: Medications of this nature are usually used to help relieve people having severe episodes of migraines that lasts for over 72hours. It is usually taken more often (daily) than as seen in cases where the migraine is mild majorly to help reduce its severity.
- Making healthy lifestyle changes such as eating more healthily, exercising regularly, drinking lots of water and getting enough sleep can not only help manage migraines but also help prevent it completely.