For those who do not know, migraines are a type of recurring headache that can be so severe that the pain is disabling and has the ability to reduce the quality of life of people affected. 

This migraine is one of the most common health conditions worldwide, which affects about 15% of people.  

This migraine headaches usually first appear during adolescence or early adulthood. Sometimes they occur infrequently or several times per month and the frequency varies from person to person. And also, they tend to peak during a person’s 30s and become less frequent and less severe in later life.

It is known that women are three times more likely to have migraine headaches than men. Note that there is tendency that migraine runs in families.

THE CAUSES

This migraine attacks may be triggered by dietary, hormonal, emotional, physical, and environmental factors, including:

  • A certain sensory stimuli, like loud noises, bright lights, strong odours or perfumes, smoking, and exposure to second-hand smoke
  • A sudden intense exercise or other physical exertion, including sexual activity
  • Lots of stress and anxiety at work or home
  • A change in sleep patterns, such as getting too much or not enough sleep
  • Too much drinking of alcohol
  • A certain foods, which includes chocolate, aged cheeses, salty foods, fermented foods, and meats containing nitrates
  • Frequently missing meals or fasting
  • A change in hormone levels during a menstrual cycle or with the use of oral contraceptives.

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THE SYMPTOMS

One of the main symptoms of a migraine is usually a headache that gets worse with movement and is disabling, like preventing a person from carrying out normal activities.  

Sometime migraine attack may progress through four phases, the signs and symptoms of which can overlap:

  • An early signs: a subtle changes in one or two days before a migraine occurs that indicate a migraine may be coming, this may include constipation, yawning, mood changes, food cravings, and neck stiffness.
  • An aura: most people experience aura before or during the headache. This symptoms, which develop over five minutes and last for up to one hour
  • Headache: sometimes this phase can last from 2 to 72 hours, and is defined by a moderate to severe headache that is throbbing or pulsing, and this usually happens only on one side of the head. The person affected may also be more sensitive to light, sounds, odours, and touch. And may also experience chills and sweating, nausea and vomiting, blurred vision and light-headedness.
  • Hangover: just after a migraine attack, a person may feel drained and washed out. This could cause confusion, moodiness, dizziness, weakness, and sensitivity to light and sound may also be experienced the following day.

THE TREATMENT

Please note that there is no known cure for migraine headaches. Though the aim of this treatment is to relieve the symptoms as soon as they start and to prevent further attacks. However, more than one treatment may help and it may take time to determine which treatment work best. This will involve trying different types or combinations of medicines such as pain relievers.

You can get pain-relievers, such as paracetamol, aspirin, and ibuprofen, they can help to reduce symptoms. Most times they tend to be most effective when taken at the first appearance of the signs and symptoms of a migraine attack.

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