Learn The Difference Between A Migraine And A Headache
Unlike a headache which can affect everyone, a migraine is usually a painful throbbing headache which generally affects one side of the head. The reasons for a migraine are often specific situations or compounds such as environment, hormones, stress among others. The occurrence of migraines is common among women with nearly 75% being affected and migraines can also affect the ability of the individual to accomplish common tasks.
The Main Symptoms Of A Migraine
Throbbing Pain which is generally on one side of the head of the affected individual is one of the primary symptoms of a migraine. The pain can be intense and leave the individual unable to accomplish simple tasks such as work. The pain in the head may radiate towards the eyes, the forehead or the Temple causing the individual to develop problems with their vision, nausea, vomiting and even sensitivity to mild exertion and normal lights.
Approximately 20% of people who suffer from migraines are victims of a classic migraine which begins with an aura of seeing visual field changes for some time or an hour before the beginning of the pain. However, a classic migraine does not affect most patients and about 25% of individuals can suffer from a prodromal phase which can begin as early as 24 hours before a migraine develops. People suffering from this condition can go through mood changes or even feel tired and tense. The neurological causes of a migraine have still not been understood and researchers are speculating that something within the body may be initiating a mix of blood vessel permeation along with brain chemicals to cause an interaction with brain cells and trigger a migraine.
The Migraine Triggers
A migraine headache occurs when an individual exposes himself or herself to a specific set of circumstances. Strong flickering lights are one of the most common triggers of a migraine. Examples of flickering lights could be in the form of faulty fluorescent lamps, television pictures going on and off rapidly and certain other factors. Anxiety and stress can also be a trigger for migraines.
Living without stress is practically impossible in the present times but people can definitely use relaxation techniques to relieve the stress from their body. Lack of proper food and liquids have also been identified as triggers for a migraine but it must be understood that some types of food binges can also be a cause.
Hormonal changes among women are one of the primary causes for a migraine to be developed. The hormonal changes will be evident during the menstrual cycle of women but the patterns can differ from one individual to another and therefore a single type of hormonal therapy will not be helpful for all. Certain types of foods are also attributed as triggers for migraines.
How to Deal With a Migraine
Treatments of various types can be used to deal with a migraine. Caffeine in coffee may be helpful to provide some relief when it is used with certain medications. However, the individual becomes prone to develop headaches when the caffeine levels in the body begin to drop. Caffeine can be both a benefit and a hindrance for people suffering from migraines.
Over-the-counter medications which are useful for headaches can also be used as treatments for migraines. Some of the most common OTCs are aspirin, naproxen sodium, acetaminophen and ibuprofen. However, people are advised not to overuse these medications because despite being helpful, they have the potential to cause toxicity, ulcers and other problems of the gastrointestinal variety. Overusing over-the-counter medications can also increase the frequency of the migraines.
The Treatment For Migraines
People who are suffering from migraines are advised to contact their physician to get them to evaluate their condition properly. Individuals should not be depending on over-the-counter medications because of the problems which they may cause as mentioned earlier. Physicians, in most cases, will prescribe Triptans because it is the most common medication for the treatment of migraines. However, people who are suffering from heart disease, strokes or hypertension will not be advised to use Triptans because of the side effects of the medication which include nausea, chest pain, paresthesia and dizziness.
Migraines are slightly different from headaches because in certain cases teenagers can also develop abdominal migraines which could result in nausea and severe vomiting apart from abdominal pain and paroxysmal vertigo which can result in unsteady balance and inventory eye movements. Migraines have also the potential to affect the stomach and therefore cannot be classified as being similar to a headache.
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