Migraine headaches begin with severe throbbing pain in one side of the head, usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, inability to tolerate excessive light or sound. Without treatment from Neurologist in Lahore migraine can last for hours to days. In some cases, the pain is severe enough to interfere with activities of daily living. Read on to know more about migraine:

What is migraine?

As mentioned before, migraine headaches are strong headaches that can last for hours or days, and often come with nausea, vomiting or other prodrome symptoms. Migraine begins notably with a pulsing or throbbing headache, which may be in one part or whole of the head.

Migraines are part of the group of headaches called primary headache. This means that they are a condition on their own and not brought on by other factors. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are headaches which are symptom of another health issue.

With physical activity or strong lights, smell or sound this headache gets worse. The warning symptoms before migraine becomes a full-blown headache is called an aura. 

With medication, migraine attacks can become less painful but not completely cured. Lifestyle changes, dietary changes and regular prophylactic medication help to mitigate the frequency of migraine headaches.

What are the symptoms of migraine?

The symptoms of migraine include:

  • Tiredness
  • Pallor of skin
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Sensitivity to noise
  • Sensitivity to smell
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dizziness and blurring of vision
  • Sweating or feeling very cold
  • Upset stomach
  • Nausea and vomiting

How common are migraines?

About half of the adult population around the world experience migraines. Of these, women are more likely to suffer from these headaches compared to men. In the United States alone, about 12 percent of adults get migraines.

What are the possible migraine triggers?

Migraine triggers are factors that bring about an acute attack. Common triggers for migraine include:

  • Stress: emotional stress is a trigger for migraine. During acute stress cortisol hormone is released, which brings about the “fight or flight” response and these chemicals in the brain can bring on headache. In addition, emotions like anxiety and worry dilate the blood vessels of the brain, which make headache more severe.
  • Certain foods: foods rich in tyramine such as cheese, chocolates, fermented foods can bring on migraine attack. In addition, certain preservatives and food additives are responsible for migraine headaches.
  • Skipping meals: hypoglycemia and skipping meals can trigger migraines. Even delaying a meal in certain situations can bring on the headache.
  • Hormonal changes: menstrual migraines occur in women around the time of onset of their period. Drop in estrogen hormone around the onset of menstruation is responsible for such headaches. This is why women between the ages of 15 and 55 years, generally have higher incidence of migraine.
  • Caffeine: too much or too little caffeine are both known triggers.
  • Light: flashing lights on TV or computer can trigger migraine.  

What are the risk factors of migraine?

According to experts like Neurologist in Islamabad the risk factors associated with migraine include:

  • Genetics: migraine tends to run in families. In fact, about 80 percent of people with migraine tend to have a first-degree relative suffering from this headache. If one parent has migraine, then there is 50 percent chance that their child will also have migraine. This percentage increases to 75 percent, if both parents suffer from migraine. Children can also have pediatric migraine, but this is shorter in duration than adult migraine. In addition, pediatric migraine has more gastric symptoms.
  • Stress: is a trigger of migraine and can worsen an acute attack. In situations of persistent stress, migraine attacks become more frequent.
  • Gender: women, particularly between the ages of 15 and 55 years, are at higher risk of migraine than men. Experts believe hormonal changes in women are linked to migraine headaches in women.
  • Smoking: cigarette smoke is full of chemicals and toxins that can trigger migraine. Even second hand smokers are at higher risk of migraine.