Do you have a headache every now and then? Having a headache can be a nuisance for many, it hinders everyday life. When you experience a throbbing pain in your head, it can be difficult to tell whether it is a typical headache or a migraine. But if you understand the difference between the two, you can get the right treatment.Also Read – Here Are 9 Important Do’s In Yoga
India.com spoke to Dr. Vikram Sharma, Senior Consultant Neurologist, Department of Neurology, Sunshine Hospitals, Hyderabad, on migraines, symptoms, treatment and more. Continue reading! Also Read – How Much Carbohydrate Intake Is Good For Us? Check out the video to find out
How can you tell the difference between a regular headache and a migraine?
Headaches cause pain in the head, face, or neck. These lead to mild to severe pain. The most common primary headache condition is a tension headache, which feels like a band of intense pressure around the head. Also Read – Must do warm-up exercises before training; Check out the video to find out
Migraine is a type of headache disorder classified as a neurological disorder and is associated with recurrent and debilitating headaches of moderate to severe intensity that are accompanied by neurological symptoms. Migraine symptoms can begin a day or two before the headache itself, known as the “prodrome” stage, which can include food cravings, fatigue or lack of energy, depression, hyperactivity, irritability, or neck stiffness. A migraine attack is a headache with severe throbbing pain or a pulsating feeling, usually only on one side of the head, which can be accompanied by symptoms such as nausea or vomiting or extreme sensitivity to light (photophobia) and noise (phonophobia).
Sometimes patients are confused about the difference between headaches and migraines, especially if they attribute migraine symptoms to other suspected causes such as stress, acidity, eye problems, menstruation, and other problems, which can lead to delayed diagnosis.
When should you see the doctor?
If the headache meets the symptoms of a migraine, or if the headache interferes with daily life, or if you have multiple headaches a month that lasts for several hours or days, you should see a neurologist who can diagnose and recommend an appropriate treatment or plan.
It’s especially important to see a neurologist early if you experience these signs and symptoms, as this can help the condition develop into a more chronic migraine or become more recurrent and severe. Early diagnosis and disease management are key to this.
Although there is no cure for migraines, a neurologist can help better manage the condition and reduce the frequency and / or severity of the attack and associated symptoms.
What causes migraines?
No definitive cause of migraines has been identified. However, certain contributing factors can trigger the condition. Although triggers can vary from case to case, common migraine triggers include stress, changes or irregular sleep patterns, caffeine or alcohol consumption, and dehydration. Dietary triggers include chocolate, cheese, and dairy products, as well as strong-smelling foods and additives. Skipping meals can also trigger migraines. Individuals may also experience environmental triggers such as bright lights, loud noises, a stuffy environment, or loud noises.
In addition, hormonal changes in women, such as fluctuations in estrogen and progesterone, which can occur during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause, can also act as migraine triggers.
What are the symptoms of migraines?
Migraine symptoms include recurring headaches with severe throbbing pain or a throbbing sensation, usually only on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, acidosis, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light (photophobia) and noise (phonophobia), lacrimation, and dizziness.
Symptoms can also vary between stages and types of migraines (e.g., migraines with aura that can cause visual, sensory, speech, and other disorders, often before or during the headache).
Describe migraine pain
Migraine pain is often described as severe throbbing pain or a throbbing sensation, or as throbbing and debilitating. Some also suggest that it can feel like a severe dull, steady pain. The pain can start easily, but if left untreated, it can become moderate to severe. It usually occurs on one side of the head, although that side can shift.
Migraines can last around 4 hours but can last 72 hours to a week. The pain can be so severe that it interferes with daily activities.
What is the treatment for migraines?
Methods of treating and managing migraines can vary, including preventative therapy. People usually take acute seizure treatment, the aim of which is to stop a seizure once it starts and to relieve distressing symptoms. However, there is also a focus on preventing the attack, which can prevent further health complications. This is particularly used for chronic migraine disorders, which can be painful and debilitating, with seizures occurring 15 or more days a month.
Treatment for migraines is patient-oriented and depends on several factors including symptoms, frequency and severity of the seizure, presence of risk factors or comorbidities, patient preference for treatment and route of administration, and whether the patient is taking other prescribed medications.
Overall, the treatment plan includes a combination of lifestyle and behavioral adjustments and prescription migraine medications that are either preventative or abortive, or even medications that are prescribed for certain symptoms such as nausea.
Any home remedies?
Understanding specific migraine triggers can help manage lifestyle and behavior changes that can help prevent migraines. General steps to facilitate prevention can include staying hydrated, ensuring adequate nutrition and avoiding skipping meals, getting a good and even sleep, and exercising regularly, albeit with a gradual warm-up.
Additionally, avoiding triggers like smoking and excessive alcohol or caffeine consumption can also help prevent migraines. Other home remedies to relieve the associated migraine pain can include: lying down in a quiet, dark room, massaging your temple and scalp, and placing a cold compress or cloth over your forehead or neck.
Which foods trigger migraines?
Foods that trigger migraines include chocolate, cheese, and dairy products, foods with a strong odor, food additives such as nitrates (a preservative in sausage products) and aspartame (an artificial sugar), and monosodium glutamate (MSG). . Tyramine can also act as a trigger, which is often found in fermented or ripened foods like ripened cheese and soy sauce. In addition, alcohol and caffeine also act as migraine triggers.
What are the different types of migraines?
There are different types of migraines. One of the categorizations is the distinction between two of the most common types – migraines with aura and migraines without aura.
Migraines without aura are the more common form of migraines. A migraine with aura, which typically affects 25 to 30% of people with migraines, is defined when people experience an “aura” that is fully reversible, including at least one of the following symptoms, for at least two seizures, including at least one of the following symptoms: Visual disturbance (the most common aura symptom ), sensory problems (such as the body, face, or tongue, including numbness, tingling, or dizziness), speech or language problems, eye problems such as flashes of light, blind spots, and other symptoms such as dizziness, tinnitus (ringing in the ears), and more. Usually no aura symptom lasts more than an hour and typically occurs with the headache or an hour before the headache starts.
Migraines can also be classified into two main types based on the frequency and severity of the headache: chronic and episodic. People with chronic migraines generally have migraine headaches for 15 or more days per month, for 3 or more months. Chronic migraine is a particularly disabling condition that is accompanied by severe headaches and can have a significant impact on the quality of life, making it difficult to carry out everyday activities. Episodic migraines refers to those who are not diagnosed as chronic and are characterized by those who have migraines for up to 14 days a month.