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Migraine - Identify the symptoms and get effective treatment

Posted Nov 09 2009 12:01am

Migraine is a very painful type of headache that affects large number of people but is 3 times more common in women. It is identified as a neurological disease in which intense pulsating or throbbing pain builds up in one area of the head. Migraine pain is typically accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. Frequent episodes of migraine affect quality of life and may lower performance at work.

Migraine pain should be taken seriously and work a doctor may be consulted. To avoid migraine pain sufferers should keep away from triggers that may be leading to a migraine pain. Commonly reported migraine triggers include bright lights, loud noises, stress, changes in sleep patterns, smoking, and alcohol, skipping meals, changes in weather, allergic reactions and certain types of food. Menstrual cycle fluctuations, use of birth control pills or hormone fluctuations during the menopause transition may trigger migraines for women.

Types of migraine

There are mainly 2 types of migraine headache -
  • Classic migraine (migraine with aura) - Sufferers of classic migraines experience 'aura' less than 30 minutes before actual migraine pain. While going through aura, sufferers usually see flashing lights, zigzag lines or even experience a temporary loss of vision. Some people also feel pins and needles sensations in one arm or leg and face speech difficulty. Other senses, such as hearing and smell, may also be affected.
  • Common migraine (migraine without aura) - This is same as migraine with aura, except that sufferers of common migraines often bypass the aura phase. Most sufferers of common migraines endure the same symptoms as experienced with classic migraines.

Symptoms of migraine

Symptoms of migraine vary; however, there are certain characteristic symptoms that are typically noticed in most migraine types for sufferers. Migraine symptoms may last from 4 to 72 hours. The severity of these symptoms may also vary in sufferers. Discussed below are some of the characteristic symptoms of migraine :
  • Intense pain which may be unilateral (affect one side of the head) or bilateral (affect both sides of the head)
  • Pain begins as a dull ache and develops into a constant, throbbing and pulsating pain
  • Extreme sensitivity to light, noise and smells
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Numbness, tingling or weakness
  • Stomach ache and diarrhoea
  • Increased urination
  • Pain worsens with physical activity
  • Patients feel better when they lie down in a quiet place

Migraine treatment

In most cases, sufferers can take painkillers for migraine treatment. However, if the migraine becomes more chronic the painkillers may prove to be ineffective and prescription medications such as NSAIDS (Non-steroidal Anti-inflammatory Drugs) may be used instead, to get relief from migraine headache. Help in the form of drug-free therapies such as Cefaly electrotherapy devices can also be used to reduce the frequent or to moderate the severity of migraine pain. Cefaly comes in the shape of headband that needs to worn for 5-minutes. Cefaly emits gentle electric impulses that acts on the nerve cells and inhibit pain.
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