Migraine Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment, Pregnancy
Migraine Headache Meaning
There is a difference between common headaches and migraines, but people who suffer from frequent headaches are considered migraines.
So the meaning of Migraine headache is that it is a kind of neurological condition in which there are many symptoms other than headache. There is a lot of prick pain on one side in the head while living in it.
Migraine Headache Duration: It lasts from a few hours to three days. It can also cause problems like gastastic, gizzard and vomiting along with headache. Migraine’s pain is much faster than the general headache and is more serious than the headache.
Usually, the pain of migraine is felt only in the head. Apart from this, dizziness and weakness may also be symptoms for migraine headache.
Migraine Headache Symptoms and Causes
Although we talk about migraine headaches, the term migraine really refers to a chronic condition characterized by recurring attacks.
But just what is it that defines a series of recurring headaches as a migraine?
About one out of every five people who suffer from migraine will have what is known as ‘classical migraine‘ which is preceded by what is referred to as an ‘aura’.
Auras are generally visual, but can also be auditory and also include such things as pins and needles and an altered sense of taste and smell.
Most commonly however patients experience zigzag patterns of brightly colored flashing lights, which often begin in the center of their field of vision and then move outwards, or experience a hole (or blind spot) in their field of vision.
An aura normally lasts from anywhere from about 10 to 30 minutes and is followed immediately by the onset of a headache. This said, in some cases, the aura and the headache will appear together.
Even where there is no aura in about half of all sufferers there will be a warning of the onset of migraine which can precede the arrival of a headache by anything from a matter of hours to several days.
The warning signs will include
and sometimes a feeling of euphoria or crazing for either sweet or salty foods.
Sufferers will quickly begin to recognize their own particular Severe migraine headache symptoms and will know when an attack is approaching.
Severe Head pain – Migraine Headache Areas
In most, but not all cases, the main symptoms for migraine headache is a moderate to severe head pain which is normally confined to just one side of the head and is felt around the area of the temple.
The headache will typical changes from one side of the head to the other in a random fashion from one attack to the next and, if the headache always appears on the same side of the head then this should be investigated as the underlying cause may not be migraine but could be something more serious, such as a brain tumor.
In some patients, migraine headache areas will not be confined to that of the temple but can extend across the forehead, around the eyes or even to the back of the head. In all cases, the pain normally intensifies with exercise.
Sensitive to Light
Migraine sufferers are also generally very sensitive to light and sound during an attack and this is why it has been traditional to lie down in a quiet and dark room until an attack passes.
In addition to symptoms associated with the head, migraine can also be accompanied by a variety of other symptoms including
Pale facial color, and cold hands and feet.
In general migraine attacks will last anywhere from about 4 to 72 hours, although it is not uncommon for attacks to last for considerably longer.
In addition to classical and common migraine which we have described here, many people also suffer from complicated migraines and atypical migraines.
A complicated migraine is a migraine which is also accompanied by some form of neurological dysfunction which is dependent upon the area of the brain from which the headache originates.
The two main forms of complicated migraine are
- Vertebrobasilar Migraine (affecting the brainstem and leading to dizziness, fainting and burred vision)
- Hemiplegic Migraine (causing temporary weakness or paralysis in one side of the body which is similar to a stroke).
Hemiplegic Migraine Awareness
Hemiplegic migraine is one of the less common types of migraine diseases This migraine disease is typically distinguished by one of two forms, either familial hemiplegic migraine.
Both types of hemiplegic migraine typically develop during the early years of an individual’s life and tend to subside by the adult years.
Hemiplegic migraine disease is often left undiagnosed due to the fact that the symptoms are comparable to the symptoms of vascular disease.
Many different conditions may be assumed based on the hemiplegic migraine symptoms. The symptoms between the two types of hemiplegic migraine disease are pretty much all the same. Where the two diseases differ is the genetic profile of them.
With familial hemiplegic migraine disease, it is possible to identify the genetic mutation of the 1 and 19 chromosomes. Sporadic hemiplegic migraine disease does not feature this family history or genetic mutation.
The common symptoms of hemiplegic migraine disease include aura episodes, hemiplegic, meningismus, ataxia, nausea, vomiting, and fever.
The aura episodes typically last for an extended period of time for up to a couple of weeks. Hemiplegia is one of the more noticeable signs as it consists of paralysis to the left or right side of the body.
Meningismus consists of meningitis symptoms minus the inflammation and actual condition. Ataxia is improper coordination of the muscles and it may affect various muscles throughout the body.
Nausea, vomiting, and fever are all symptoms that would be noticed but they are very general and could be attributed to many different illnesses and medical conditions.
Hemiplegic Migraine Treatments
As familial hemiplegic and sporadic hemiplegic migraine disease are practically the same diseases aside from the genetic makeup the treatment methods used for both of these will be the same.
The symptoms of hemiplegic migraine diseases are very severe and treating them is considered to be difficult. However, you will want to know about the treatment options that are available so you can minimize the severity of the symptoms that you are experiencing.
At the very least, if you could at least make the symptoms of the disease to be bearable then that would be an accomplishment.
You will want to find a migraine specialist to help you with the treatment process. Make sure that you find a specialist that is experienced with treating this type of migraine disease as you may be the first patient with hemiplegic migraine disease for a lot of doctors.
Many people will use pain relief medication to help them with treating the symptoms of their hemiplegic migraine disease.
For example, Verapamil is commonly used to help with treating these migraine diseases.
Various other types of hemiplegic migraine medication are often recommended for hemiplegic migraine headache treatment as well, such as narcotic analgesics and NSAID’s (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). Most medication is only effective in treating the migraine attacks that you are experiencing.
You may want to look into preventive medicine as well, such as calcium channel blockers. This can lower the frequency and severity of migraine attacks that will occur in the future.
Hemiplegic migraine diseases are not an incredibly common type of migraine disease but a lot of their instances go undiagnosed.
This is a major medical problem which can have serious effects on your daily life when migraine attacks are occurring. This issue targets young children and typically subsides once they reach the young adult stage.
If you suspect that you or your child suffers from a hemiplegic migraine disease then you will want to get referred to a migraine specialist for the appropriate diagnosis and treatment assistance.
In closing, hemiplegic migraine diseases are very serious and have severe migraine attacks that are very painful to deal with so you should seek medical attention if you are suffering from these symptoms as the correct diagnosis will help you with deciding how to treat the problem.
When it comes to an atypical migraine it is difficult to describe the symptoms because, as the name suggests, migraines of this nature do not follow the normal pattern of symptoms.
In many cases, a diagnosis of atypical migraine will only be made after your doctor has run a series of tests to rule out any other cause for your condition and come to the conclusion that this is simply a somewhat unusual (or atypical) case of migraine.
Despite the often debilitating nature of this disease, effective drug treatment is available today and anyone suffering from symptoms for migraine headache should simply call into their local health or medical center for more information about the medications and migraine headache symptoms treatment available.
Migraine Headache in Pregnancy
Migraine Symptoms in Pregnancy involve a pounding or throbbing pain which is usually accompanied by dizziness and vomiting.
It is also known for its unilateral effect, which elicits pain from one side to the other.
Aside from that, the pain is also felt on the eyes, on the forehead or at the back of the head. If you know someone who experiences migraine symptoms during pregnancy, you must realize that there are a lot of options you can do to help her and these are enumerated below.
1. Know what usually Triggers a Migraine
Food items such as peanuts, aged cheese, caffeine-rich products, soya products, avocado, sauerkraut, canned goods, beans and preservatives are usually found to Food trigger a migraine headache.
2. Distinguish the usual symptoms
Aside from pain, migraine also makes the woman feel nauseated, vomit and increase sensitivity to light. While some do experience aura as a warning symptom, others do not.
An aura is known as the symptom which manifests before the headache occurs, which is best manifested by a disturbance in vision. Classification of migraine headaches in Pregnancy includes those having an aura, those without an aura and a migraine accompanied by aura and mixed tension.
Firstly, migraine without an aura is characterized by a pulsating and throbbing headache, which is often felt on either side of the foreheads. This pain could either be dull, severe, or lasting for up to 2 days.
Other symptoms associated in this category include vertigo and dizziness, nausea, fatigue and loss of appetite. Post-migraine attacks may still show other symptoms such as neck pain and sleepiness.
Second, in migraine with an aura, the aura occurs prior to the head pain and the warning signs usually occur between minutes up to a whole day.
The vision disturbances develop and occur in both eyes, accompanied by seeing blind spots, flashing or zigzag lines, sensitivity to brightness, visual hallucination, and pain in the eyes. Chills, increased sweating, irritability and an urgency to urinate are also some of the difficult signs and symptoms that are associated in this category.
Third, the worst type is mixed tension migraine. This ultimately manifests both the tension and the migraine headache. You may notice the pain is felt on both sides of the head.
Mild to severe pain may be experienced and worsens with increased activity; this could last until 3 days. Other accompanying symptoms include depression, sensitivity to bright lights and sounds, weakness and numbness of the body.
3. Migraine Headache Treatment Pregnancy
Although according to studies, acetaminophen may be taken during the first trimester if you only follow the recommended dosage, it is still not guaranteed to be completely safe due to its potential adverse effects.
A good intervention for any form of a migraine attack is warm or cold compress; allowing the person to relax and be placed in a dark and quiet room would also provide beneficial results.
Overall, it is essential that a pregnant woman knows how to handle Migraine Symptoms during pregnancy. Remember that pregnancy is a critical condition for any woman, which is why a lot of due care and support must be given if there are unnecessary health concerns that would eventually rise. Keep these 3 steps in mind to prevent and manage migraine headache in pregnancy.
Cure for Migraine Headache Pain
There are a number of specific preventive treatment for migraine headaches available today but the starting point before considering any specific migraine treatment is to examine the factors which may be triggering your migraine attacks.
There are many factors which are known to trigger a migraine attack including such things as exercise, sleep, food and stress and keeping a diary in which you record anything which might possibly cause an attack can be very helpful to your doctor in identifying your own particular susceptibility.
Once your particular trigger factors have been identified it is surprising how often a few simple lifestyle changes can, if not cure, then certainly reduce the frequency and severity of your attacks.
There are typically two Migraine Headache Treatments used today:
- Treatment to relieve the symptoms and pain of an attack (sometimes referred to as abortive treatment.
- Cure for Migraine Headache for further attacks.
The approach for most people today is to look at the frequency and severity of attacks, as well as the degree of disability which results from your headaches. It is also important at this point to take into consideration any other medical conditions which you may be suffering from.
In relatively mild cases a range of pain-relieving medications can then be used to treat the condition. However, where these prove ineffective, or where severe and debilitating attacks are being experienced more than about twice a month, then preventative migraine medication may be prescribed.
The most commonly prescribed Migraine Headache Medicine Prescription include:
Triptans. Triptans including Imitrex, Maxalt, Amerge, Zomig, Axert, Frova, and Relpax are often the treatment of choice for many patients suffering from severe migraine attacks and are effective in relieving not only the pain of a headache but also nausea and sensitivity to light.
Ergots. Ergots have been around for many years and were commonly used before the introduction of triptans. Ergots work in a similar manner to triptans but are generally less effective. The there main advantage these days lies in the fact that they are considerably cheaper than triptans.
Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). NSAIDs include such drugs as aspirin and ibuprofen as well as drugs specifically developed to treat migraine such as Excedrin Migraine. These drugs are however only effective in treating mild cases of migraine.
Anti-nausea medications. Because many migraine sufferers also experience nausea it is common to combine some form of anti-nausea medicine with other migraine headache pain relief drugs.
Butalbital combination medications. Combination drugs including the sedative butalbital are sometimes prescribed to treat migraine although nowadays they are used infrequently because they can have a tendency to induce rebound headaches. They also carry unwanted withdrawal symptoms.
Opiates. Opiate drugs such as codeine are sometimes advised for patients who are unable to tolerate triptans or ergots. This class of drugs is however addictive and so they should only be used when absolutely necessary.
The approach taken when it comes to preventing further attacks is essential to prescribe a course of drugs either to be taken on a daily basis or to be taken when you are experiencing a predictable trigger for a migraine attack.
These drugs, which will often enhance the effectiveness of pain-relieving medications, are designed to reduce the frequency of migraine attacks, as well as their length and severity. Commonly used drugs today include.
Cardiovascular drugs. A number of cardiovascular drugs including beta blockers and calcium channel blockers which are commonly used to treat high blood pressure have been shown to help in the prevention of migraine attacks, although it is not really known why this should be the case.
Antidepressants. Although depression can trigger a migraine attack and it would therefore seem logical to use antidepressants as a preventative measure, it is not in fact necessary for you to be suffering from depression for these drugs to be effective. The most helpful drugs in terms of migraine are tricyclic antidepressants which are thought to work by regulating the levels of serotonin and other brain chemicals. Interestingly enough the older antidepressant drugs prove more effective than many of the newer antidepressants.
Anti-siezure drugs. Rather like cardiovascular drugs anti-seizure drugs can help in preventing migraines although, once again, we do not really understand why. Anti-seizure drugs must however be used with care as they can lead to dizziness, cramps, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting and even hair loss.
Botox. It has been noted that some migraine sufferers having Botox injections as a facial treatment to remove wrinkles have experienced an improvement in their migraine headaches. Exactly why this should be the case is unclear although it is believed that Botox causes an alteration to your nervous system which reduces your tendency to develop migraine headaches.
Antihistamine. One particular antihistamine drug, cyproheptadine, specifically affects the activity of serotonin and is sometimes given to children as a form of preventive treatment for migraine headaches.
A growing number of people these days are turning away from traditional migraine medicines and are looking for information about the alternative cure for migraine headaches.
Ocular Migraine Without Headache Causes
Ocular migraine or eye migraine are the terms commonly used for what is more properly known as ophthalmic migraine.
This condition is also sometimes referred to as silent migraine headaches and is also written as an ocular migraine without headache.
When we talk about a migraine we are usually referring to a severe headache which is often accompanied by visual disturbances including sensitivity to light. However, it is possible to experience visual disturbances with or without the pain of a headache and this gives rise to the terms ophthalmic, ocular or eye migraine. Where a headache is not present it is also common to use the term silent migraine.
Ocular Migraine Symptom
Ocular migraines involve a variety of different symptoms. For example, it is common to experience a small blind spot in the center of your vision together with bright colored flickering lights and zigzag lines.
This blind spot normally enlarges and moves across your field of vision. Ocular migraine can last for just a few minutes but typically lasts about 20 to 30 minutes.
Ocular migraine symptom is very similar to those seen in sufferers who experience the aura which accompanies a classical migraine but, according to some schools of thought, there is one important difference.
In cases of classical migraine, the visual disturbance arises within the occipital cortex (the visual processing area of the brain) but in ocular migraine, this disturbance arises from the retinal blood vessels within the eyes.
In other words, the aura accompanying a classical migraine arises from within the brain whereas ocular migraine arises from within the eye. This said, the problem is that there is some disagreement over just what causes ocular migraine and some health professionals would argue that any effect on the retinal blood vessels originates in the occipital cortex.
Ocular migraine symptom is temporary in nature and results in no lasting harm. They can, however, interfere with normal day to day activities, such as reading or watching television and are clearly of particular significance for anybody who is driving or operating machinery.
Ocular Migraine Without Headache Treatment
There is no specific treatment for ocular migraine, other than those drug treatments which would normally be given for migraines in general.
Treatment for ocular migraines is not usually required, but since ocular migraines seem to be brought on by the same triggers for migraine, prevention is the best way to deal with them.
You should avoid the things that can trigger the ocular migraine, strive to keep your stress levels down, stick to a regular routine and ensure that you are getting adequate sleep.
If you notice that a migraine headache usually comes after an ocular migraine, taking medications for migraine headaches may help relieve your ocular migraine.
However, you should never take triptans to treat ocular migraine. Triptans are commonly used for the treatment of migraine as they reduce the enlargement of blood vessels, thereby removing the pressure on nerves.
The constricting effect of triptans can adversely affect the blood vessels of the retina and might result in lost vision. Known triptans include Sumatriptan (Imitrex), Zolmitriptan (Zomig) and Naratriptan (Amerge). Other types of triptans are also available, so if you are unsure of what you are not supposed to use, talk to your doctor.