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A migraine is a neurological disorder that causes a throbbing headache. It causes severe and pulsing aches on one side of the head. A migraine headache can occur in episodes and can last for hours to days. The pain can even interrupt your daily activities. You may also become sensitive to light and sound and find it difficult to speak.

Common Signs of Migraine Headache

Migraine is commonly seen in children, teenagers, and adults. It occurs in four different stages and everyone who has a migraine may not go through all four stages. The symptoms vary from one stage to another such as the following:

Prodrome stage: You may experience symptoms of headache at least 2 or 3 days before a headache and it is called the prodrome stage. Possible signs at this stage include:

  • Depression
  • Mood swings without any reason
  • Constipation
  • Increased urge to urinate
  • Yawning frequently
  • Thirst
  • Loss of appetite or food cravings
  • Fatigue or weakness

Aura: Some people may experience an aura after the prodrome stage or during a migraine. An aura affects your vision, speech, and even movements. The signs develop slowly and can last for up to 60 minutes. The signs are:

  • Difficult to see
  • Numbness or tingling sensation on one side of the body
  • Speech difficulty
  • Feeling of heaviness in legs and arms
  • You see bright spots and light flashes
  • Changes in smell, taste, and touch

Attack: This is the stage where migraine begins. The pain usually begins as mild and can cause throbbing pain as it progresses. The pain can last from 4 hours to 3 or 4 days. The pain can get even become worse with physical activity. At this stage, you may experience:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, and sound
  • Pain on one side of the head
  • Dizziness
  • Throbbing or pulsing headache

Postdrome phase: This stage occurs after a migraine attack. This can last for up to one day and you feel:

  • Tired or cranky
  • Muscle pain
  • Loss of appetite or food cravings
  • Feeling happy

It takes around eight to 72 hours to go through all these stages of a migraine. Not everyone will go through all these stages and the intensity of each stage also varies from one person to another.

What Causes a Migraine Headache?

The exact cause of a migraine is still unknown to the doctors. But the changes in the brain, genetics and environmental factors lead to a migraine. Abnormal brain activity can affect the nerve signals, chemicals, and blood vessels in the brain. But the exact cause for the change in brain activity is unknown.

The following are some of the triggers of a migraine:

  • Hormonal changes in women during periods, pregnancy and menopause can cause a migraine headache
  • Consumption of alcohol 
  • Excess consumption of caffeine
  • If one of your parents have a history of migraine, you have 50% chance of developing a migraine
  • Stress, which can either be due to work or personal issues
  • Poor sleep
  • Health conditions such as anxiety, epilepsy, sleep problems
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Weather changes
  • Use of certain medications
  • Consumption of processed food
  • Skipping or irregular meals

How Frequent Do Migraine Headaches Occur?

The frequency of migraine attacks also varies from one person to another. A migraine attack can occur once a year or once a week. It can occur either three to four times a month.

How is a Migraine Treated?

There is no cure for a migraine headache. But the treatment focuses on preventing the frequency of migraine attacks and the severity of signs. The medications used for migraine are broadly classified into two types as follows:

  • Pain relieving medications: It is also known as abortive medications and is used during a migraine attack. The medications focus on reducing the signs such as pain, sensitivity to light, nausea, etc.
  • Preventative medications: If your headache is severe and if you are experiencing migraine more than 4 times in a month, preventative medications are used. These medications need to be taken regularly to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks. 

You should also avoid the overuse of medications as they can lead to rebound headaches. An experienced doctor can help determine the right amount of medication you need.

Think Eye Hospital – Meet Our Specialists for an Opinion on Migraine Treatment

If you have been suffering from migraine and it is disturbing your daily life, meet specialists at Think Eye Hospital today. Our specialists have helped several patients suffering from migraine and treated their signs. Our specialists can treat any kind of migraine headache and you can count on us. We use the latest tools and technology to diagnose and treat your condition irrespective of your age. To schedule an appointment, call us today.