Migraine headaches can cause severe throbbing pain or a throbbing sensation, usually on one side of the head, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and noise. A migraine headache usually lasts four to 72 hours if left untreated. Migraines can occur rarely or several times a month, and the pain can be severe enough to interfere with your daily activities.
Migraines are three times more common in women than men and affects more than 10% of people worldwide, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Migraines can start at any age, but often only appear in adolescence.
Some people experience a warning symptom known as an aura before or with the headache. An aura can include visual disturbances such as flashes of light or blind spots, or other disturbances such as tingling on one side of the face or in one arm or leg and difficulty speaking. A migraine aura can occur without an accompanying headache.
The term “eye migraine” is often used interchangeably to refer to two different conditions: migraine aura, which involves a visual disorder that is usually not severe, and retinal migraine, which could indicate something serious and require immediate medical attention requires. Retinal migraine is a rare condition that occurs in a person who has had other migraine symptoms. Retinal migraines include repeated attacks of short-term decreased vision or blindness. These attacks can precede or accompany headaches.
Migraine triggers can be hormonal changes in women; Stress; Sleep changes; and certain foods, food additives, and medicines. Some people with migraines seem more sensitive to changes in weather, including bright sunlight, extreme heat or cold, changes in air pressure, and windy or stormy weather.
There may be a connection between migraines and the gut. Research suggests that people with frequent headaches are more likely to develop gastrointestinal disorders. And research has shown that people who regularly have gastrointestinal symptoms like reflux, diarrhea, constipation, and nausea have a higher prevalence of headaches than those who do not have gastrointestinal symptoms.
Living with migraines can be a daily challenge. Medication is a proven way of treating and preventing migraines, but medication is only part of the story.
It is also important to take good care of yourself, including diet, exercise, and managing stress.