Migraine is a recurring headache disorder with intense pain that may be on one side of the head and accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound. When severe nausea and vomiting usually occur. The lifetime prevalence is 25% in women and 8% in men. Migraine also affects about 5% to 10% of children and adolescents. Migraines are painful but fortunately are not life-threatening.
Phases of a Migraine Attack
Migraine attacks progress sequentially through five phases; migraine sufferers may experience some or all phases:
- Phase 1. The early, or prodrome phase of a migraine, occurs hours to several days before the onset of the headache. During this phase, 50% to 80% of migraine sufferers experience the following symptoms: drowsiness, irritability, euphoria, thirst, food cravings, increased urination, and sensitivity to light, sound, and/or odors.
- Phase 2. During the aura phase, 10% to 20% of migraine sufferers experience a 10- to 60-minute aura that usually, but not necessarily, is visual. The visual aura assumes many variations, including silver streaks, white lights, double vision, blind spots, and distortion of all linear objects.
- Phase 3. Headache pain gradually emerges in the headache phase of a migraine attack. Pain quality is usually throbbing and focused on one side of the head, although, in some cases, the pain may be steady and experienced on both sides of the head and crosses along the top of the head.
- Phase 4. Headache pain gradually diminishes during the resolution phase.
- Phase 5. The postdrome or recovery phase(I call this the migraine hangover phase) of migraine attacks, sufferers may experience limited food tolerance and fatigue.
What Causes Migraines?
Migraines happen when abnormal electrical activity in the brain causes nerves to release chemicals that produce inflammation. The chemicals make blood vessels in the brain dilate, which causes pain. Anyone can get migraines; about 11% of people suffer from them, although they’re more common in women and in people between 25 and 55. People who get migraines also often have a strong family history of the condition.
Many things can trigger a migraine. These include but are not limited to:
- Weather (barometric pressure change)
- Lack of food or sleep
- Too much sleep
- Exposure to bright light
- Hormonal changes in women
- Strong cheese
- perfumes and strong odors
I have suffered with Migraines since I was 18 years old. I am now on a prophylactic to help reduce the number and severity of the Migraines. There are some side effects, however, they are worth it to stop the pain of the Migraines.
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