A headache is one of the most common pain conditions in the world. According to World Health Organisation (WHO), globally about half of adults reported
headaches at least once per annum. Across those who experienced headaches three-person on ten reported migraine pain. Recurrent painful headaches attacks may be classified as migraine. Migraine is a type of primary
headache. Moreover, causes severe throbbing pain. Pain in the head may
arise and become severely pulsating. Migraine pain is usually localized in one
side of the head. The spectrum of pain follows with other symptoms as; nausea, sensitivity to light, noise, or odors. Migraine attacks may vary in duration.
Typically a migraine lasts an hour to even 72 hours. In addition, those painful
attacks may have a negative impact on everyday activities.
Some patients know in advance that a migraine attack is incoming. Undoubtedly, it is because of the phenomenon called an aura. That provides anticipatory symptoms. Those can be spotted as disturbances in the vision as flashes,
blind spots, or simply blurred sight. Aura is not one but rather a compilation of
sensory symptoms. Aura is an intense feeling that appears before headache
pain. Furthermore, about 1 in 4 people experience it before a migraine strikes
What the causes are:
Almost one century ago scientists started to question the causes of migraine disorder. Till today the
cause of headaches is not fully understood. There are some genetic predispositions and conditioning
environmental factors. Some migraine causes are associated with hormonal fluctuations. Especially,
women migraine type is correlated with menstruation periods. In general, the mechanism, when we
experienced migraine is simple. Specific nerves localized in part of the head send pain signals to the
brain. Those signals release inflammatory chemicals into the bloodstream & to the nerves. An interrupted balance of chemicals in the brainstem causes the spectrum of inflammatory reactions. Activation of
mechanisms leads the brain to release pain-producing inflammatory substances. It happens around
head nerves and blood vessels. Scientists are not sure why the brain launch this system.
• Open eyes disturbances
• Tingling and numbness
• Temporary loss of vision
• Weakness experienced in part of the body
• Changes in speech (tempo, voice pitch)
What do migraine symptoms look like?
• Headache on one side of the head.
• Nausea (the most common characteristic associated)
• Blur vision or visual disturbances (patients with aura)
• Vomiting (or abdominal pain, younger children’s)
• Light sensitivity (photophobia)
• Sensitivity to noise, odours (second smoke cigarette)
• Pale skin colour (pallor)
• Medications. Vasodilators, oral contraceptives.
• Stress inducing environment or stress in general.
• Interruption of sleeping or meal routines.
• Epileptic illumination, noise, odours, cigarette smoke
• High-intensity physical endurance.
• Weather conditions. Barometric air pressure can induce migraine.
• Foods. Especially aged cheeses and processed foods.
• Other. Periods (menstruation)
When to seek further medical advice?
Migraines are often not diagnosed properly. If headaches impede your everyday activities then you
should consider a consultation with GP to get a proper diagnose. For those who have a previous history
of headaches or are reliant on over-the-counter medications, the best advice is to start keeping a record
of migraine attacks. The migraine journal should contain the frequency of attacks and actions we conduct to ease the pain. That kind of journal will be helpful to you and your physician. Even you previously
have a history of headaches, but the patterns of attack changed you should look for medical attention.
How to treat migraine:
Chronic migraine headaches can not be simply cured. In contrast, the severity of pain may be decreased. Desirable relief is approachable. It may be done by changing individual habits. Simple avoidance of common triggers may be helpful. If it is not, there are also more reliable protocols. Two additional types of treatment approaches exist. Abortive and preventive medication. Healthcare professionals
will provide you with an accurate diagnosis and prescription. Simple lifestyle modifications may help. If
it’s not and those interventions are not sufficient. Therefore, medication may be an appropriate way to
prevent or ease upcoming pain. If we are convinced to visit the physician it will be very helpful to bring
the migraine journal with us. Your GP based on included information will choose the most appropriate
medication. There is a whole class of medicine used to treat migraine. The doctor may choose from a
wide group of them; triptan, anti-migraine medications, analgesics, anti-emetics, prophylactic medications. In general, if avoidance of migraine triggers does not help, drugs will do! Two main approaches
with the implementation of medication are used one is abortive medication and the second is preventive
Abortive medication. Is treatment aimed to ease upcoming or already experienced migraine? Is the
most effective when a patient will use e drug straight after the signing of migraine. Medication should
abort the upcoming headache process by decreasing other symptoms. It may reduce many symptoms
as; pain, light sensitivity, and nausea. The mechanism of work for that medication aims to constrict blood
vessels and bring them to baseline level. In addition, it helps to relieve out the throbbing pain. Abortive
medication is appropriate for patients with aura and those are most effective.
Preventive medication. Are ordinated by the physician when patients’ headaches are severe and interrupt everyday activities. This approach aims to reduce the frequency and ease the negative impact of
migraines on patient life. Those medications are usually prescribed when migraine headaches occurred
four or more times per month. Drugs should be taken daily to prevent upcoming migraines.
Resources further information
This brochure aims to provide the most updated information about migraine.
The leaflet is addressed to the general public and lays a piece of information
in an easy-to-digest form. On the other hand, it cannot be treated as medical
advice. If you discover described symptoms and your headaches pain persists.
Please book an appointment to see your doctor. You can help yourself and your
doctor if you decide to cultivate the habit of recording every attack in a migraine
diary. For more information scan the QR codes below to get more reliable information.
- World Health -Organisation Headache disorders
- National Health Service – Overview Migraine
- Scientific Migraine Compedium – Migraine Headache