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Migraine Causes, Symptoms And Treatment

Migraine can be described as a condition characterized by severe and chronic headaches, which could last for hours, or in some rare cases, days too. Many men and women have been known to experience migraine headache symptoms so severe that all they want to do is find a place that is quite and dark, where they can lie down. There are two main types of migraine. One of them is the common migraine, which has symptoms like headaches and nausea, but the other type, known as aura migraine or ocular migraine, is characterized by more complicated migraine symptoms such as blind spots, flashes of light that can be blinding at times and a tingling feeling in the arms and the legs. People who experience migraine symptoms with blurred vision could also be suffering from a case of aura migraine.

Given below, are some of the most commonly seen symptoms of migraine (the common migraine) in people:
  • Nausea, which may or may not be accompanied by vomiting 
  • Moderate to severe pain, which could affect one side or even both the sides of the head 
  • Headaches which worsen with physical activity and could interfere with day to day activities 
  • Sensitivity to light as well as sound
  • Pain in the head, with a throbbing or pulsating effect

In case the migraine is left untreated, the symptoms could last for anywhere between 4 hours and 72 hours. The frequency of the headaches may vary from one patient to the other. The symptoms of migraine are not necessarily the same, even in the same person, as one attack could vary from the other. People who suffer from aura headaches actually notice certain signs, a day or so before they suffer from a migraine attack. These aura migraine warning signs include irritability, drowsiness, depression, increased thirst, the craving for sweets elation and a surge of intense energy.
There are certain migraine symptoms that are rare, but can be quite serious. Migraine symptoms with neck pain can be a major cause for concern and therefore should be investigated by a medical health care provider, without any delay. This also applies to migraine symptoms and dizziness, fever, mental confusion, skin rash, seizures, numbness, double vision, weakness and difficulty while speaking.

Children too have been known to suffer from this condition. Some of the most common migraine symptoms in children include:

  • Headache located around the eyes, in the temples or at the side of the head
  • Sick feeling in the stomach, often accompanied by vomiting 
  • Sensitivity to strong smell, noise and light 
  • Sleeping deeply after a headache 
  • Recurrent spells of feeling faint

Many people check if there is any correlation between migraine symptoms and causes and if any of the particularly uncomfortable symptoms can be prevented, by avoiding certain triggers. However, the exact causes of migraine are still not clear, even though there are several theories about them. However, migraine symptoms and treatment are related, as even the prescribed medication used for patients may vary, based on the symptoms they experience.

While it is a well-known fact one of the main silent migraine symptoms is headache, it is possible for people to experience migraine without headache too. Studies indicate that almost 20% of the migraine sufferers have experienced severe migraine symptoms, without the headache, which is why they do not even realize what the problem really is.

Migraine Treatment

Almost everyone who experiences headaches caused by migraine ask their health care providers for tips on how to get rid of a migraine. Though there is no real cure for migraine, it is quite possible to use medication to reduce the frequency of the headaches, to a great extent. However, migraine headache treatment is a long-term commitment and should be continued on a daily basis, even if the headaches cease to occur. People who stop migraine headache treatment could face the problem of recurrent headaches, after a while too.

Migraine Treatment Guidelines

The medicines recommended for combatting migraine can be divided into two types, that is, the pain relieving medication and the preventive medication. The pain relieving medication prescribed includes non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), triptans, ergotamine, anti-nausea medication, butalbital combinations and opiates. Medication prescribed as preventative measures include cardiovascular drugs, anti-seizure drugs, antidepressants, cyproheptadine and botulinum toxin type A (Botox). Unfortunately, there are several side effects that have been associated with these medicines and therefore, they are not appropriate for migraine treatment in pregnancy.

Therefore, there are many people, who are advised to use natural migraine treatment instead. Alternate migraine headache treatment could include acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, vitamins, mineral supplements and certain herbs too. There are many migraine home remedies too that can help alleviate the painful symptoms of the condition, also reducing the frequency of the headache attacks. Some of the most commonly recommended migraine home remedies include engaging in light exercises, taking frequent hot baths, practicing yoga and getting an adequate amount of sleep.

Migraine Causes

Migraine causes people to experience frequent evening headaches, though there is no specific time for an attack. There are many people who ask their health care providers “Is diet the most important cause of migraine?” While a diet can trigger off migraine headaches too, there are many other theories about silent migraine causes. Given below are some of the most common causes of pulsating migraine headaches:

  • Hormonal changes (in women), especially the fluctuation in the level of estrogen in the body.  Taking oral contraceptives or undergoing hormonal therapy could also trigger off severe migraines. Hormonal changes during the menstrual cycles can cause women to experience migraines in the evening. 
  • Excessive amounts of stress can have an adverse effect on the entire body and has also been known to cause migraine attacks 
  • Lack of sleep or even excess sleep can lead to severe migraine headaches 
  • Environmental changes, like the weather or even alterations in barometric pressure causes migraine 
  • Use of certain medication or engaging in strenuous physical activity can also lead to migraine attacks.

There is a lot of information on eye migraine causes and symptoms that can be accessed through various resources. However, it is best to consult a doctor for any questions or queries.

Submitted on January 16, 2014