Migraine refers to the neurological condition which manifests itself in many signs and symptoms. People who have a migraine, in most cases experience intense and debilitating headaches. The common symptoms include nausea, vomiting, numbness, difficulty in speaking, sensitivity to light and sound, numbness and tingling sensation. Migraines are often genetic, which means it runs in families, and it affects people of all ages.
The diagnosis of this condition is determined based on the patient’s clinical history and reported symptoms while ruling out other possible conditions. Migraines are mainly categorized into those without aura and migraines with aura. Migraines with aura were formerly called classic migraines while migraines without aura were called common migraines.
More women than men have migraines, and the family history is the main risk factor for migraines. It is important to differentiate migraines from other headaches by clearly understanding the symptoms. People often get migraine symptoms a few days before the headache starts in what is referred to as the prodrome stage. At the prodrome stage, people who have migraines will also experience food cravings, frequent yawning, depression, fatigue or low energy, hyperactivity, irritability as well as neck stiffness.
In migraine with aura, an aura is felt at the prodrome stage. At the onset of the aura, patients might have problems with vision,speech sensation and movement. Some patients also have difficulty incoherently speaking, seeing unclear shapes and having light flashes or bright spots while some can temporarily lose their vision. The next phase after these symptoms manifest is referred to as the attack phase and is severe since patients begin to feel the real migraine pain. The attack phase symptoms may last for a few hours and up to a few days.
The diagnosis of migraine is made by listening to the symptoms and taking a comprehensive look at the patient’s medical and family history. The doctor might also perform a physical examination to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms which include imaging scans like MRI or CT scan to help rule out other conditions like tumors, stroke, abnormal brain structures. While migraines cannot be cured, the doctor can significantly help in the management and treatment of symptoms. The doctor’s intervention also helps in making migraines and their symptoms less severe.
The treatment of migraines depends on the age of the patient, how often the migraines occur, the type of migraine people have as well as the severity of the migraine symptoms. This depends on how long the condition can last and the severity of your pain as well as its effects on your normal daily life. The treatment of migraines includes self-care migraine remedies, lifestyle adjustments which include avoidance of migraine triggers and stress management.
There are also prescription medications that the doctor will prescribe for patients who have a migraine to help in reducing pain and headache, minimization of nausea and vomiting. You can also get hormone therapy if the migraine is found to occur as a result of the menstrual cycle. There are also a few migraine remedies which include lying down quietly in a dark room, massaging scalp or temples and placing cold clothing on the forehead and behind the neck.