Migraine Headaches and Their Symptoms


Migraine is an onset of severe to moderate headaches commonly complained along with nausea caused due to chronic neurological disorder. Women are three times more affected by this when compared to men. It (pain) occurs on any one side of the head.

The pain is excruciating, pulsating and can last somewhere between two hours to 72 hrs and the symptoms associated with migraine are nausea, more sensitivity to light (photophobia), vomiting, increased sensitivity to sound (phonophobia). It is said that these particular symptoms on set get aggravated by routine activity of the person

Close to 1/3 of the patients suffering from these headaches usually get signals such as sensory, transient visual, language or motor disturbance warning them that migraine will occur very soon, which is called as auraand only occurs in a small number of people.

The reason why this migraine is caused is idiopathic but is an abnormal condition of pain neurons in brainstem of the person. It has got 60% - 65% influence of development genetically in terms of propensity.

Approximately 74% of the patients suffering from these headaches are women, despite it affects equal of boys and girls. Even the hormone level fluctuations indicate migraine relation. They tend to disappear at the time of pregnancy in some women, but in some cases migraine headaches often occur.

The severity of the pain, the duration of the headache on how long do they persist, and frequency of occurrence or attacks is not the same in person suffering from migraine for every attack. The migraine that last for 72 hrs is known as status migrainosus, which can be treated by inducing prochlorperazine intravenously.



Phases of Migraine Headaches :

  • The prodrome phase.
  • The pain phase.
  • The postdrome
  • The aura.

Prodrome

Prodromal symptoms comprises of depression, altered mood, irritability, fatigue, euphoria, yawning, craving for chocolate or other food, excessive sleepiness, hot ears, dizziness, stiff neck, constipation, visceral symptoms, diarrhea, and fluctuating urination. About 40–60% of the patients suffering from headaches face these symptoms before the onset of headaches, predicting the attack.

Aura

Aura symptoms includefocal neurological phenomena that come before the attack of migraine or might accompany the pain. It occurs 5-20 mins before headache and generally last for nearly 60 mins. The headache phase sometimes gets delayed to several hours or can even disappear completely. At times the pain may also start before aura has completely disappeared. Aura migraine symptoms can be motor or sensory in nature.

Pain

The migraine pain is usually reported to be throbbing, and moderate to severe. It can start start on one side and can get generalized later. It last for 72 hrs in adults and 48 hrs in children.

Postdrome

After the patient suffers from the headache, the effects may still persist for some days where the patients complains of sore feeling in the area where the migraine was and also reports impaired thinking for a few days . Some people feel depressed while some others feel euphoric and refreshed after the onset of pain.

Reason for Migraine Headaches:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • lack of food and sleep
  • Exposure to light
  • Hormonal changes (in women)

Migraine Statistics

Approximately 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraine, every year, while the vascular headache is commonly experienced between the age group of 15 and 55, and 70% to 80% of sufferers have a family history of migraine. The diagnosis of migraine headaches is usually mis understood as sinus headache or tension headache.

Migraine Treatment and Medication

The medications for migraine are of two types which include pain-relieving medication and preventive medication.

Pain-relieving medication otherwise known as abortive treatment, and they are taken on the onset of the migraine attacks and help in easing the patient from the pain and symptoms that have already begun. For example Dexamethasone , Opiates, Pain relievers , Triptans , Ergot , Anti-nausea medications.

Preventive medications are taken on a regular basis in way to reduce the future possibility, the severity of the pain and also the frequency of the attack, such as Botulinum toxin type A (Botox), Cardiovascular drugs, Antidepressants , Anti-seizure drugs, and Cyproheptadine