A migraine headache is a severe type of headache that interrupts your ability to continue routine or daily activities. Common migraine headache symptoms include throbbing pain near the temple, nausea, vomiting and extreme sensitivity to both light and sound.
More than 28 million people worldwide suffer from migraine headaches, which roughly computes to about 10% of the world’s population. Most people who suffer from migraines are women, but men, teenagers and even young children can suffer from them as well.
A migraine headache can come on like a freight train leaving you very little time to prepare for it. If you experience a migraine attack, you can feel its effects for a couple of hours or even several days. To say that it is hard to recover from a migraine headache is an understatement. A migraine drains the body physically so energy levels are low for several days.
Classical migraines are those that come with a variety of symptoms before the onset of the actual headache. These symptoms can include seeing bright spots in the line of vision, flashing lights or temporary vision loss.
As debilitating as migraines sound, less than half of those who suffer from them actually seek medical attention. This is because migraines tend to only occur on rare occasions or as few as two times a year. People who suffer from chronic migraines need to see a doctor immediately.
The causes of migraines are not fully known, but some good ideas based on research are out there. In the beginning, it was believed that migraines were merely severe tension headaches. It was also rumored that those suffering from migraines simply can’t deal well with pain. Today, the consensus is that migraine headaches are genetic based. Needless to say, the issue of migraines is very complex. There is still plenty of things about migraines that remain a mystery to those who are in the medical field.
What is known is that in addition to genetics, lack of sleep or too much sleep can trigger a migraine. Eating habits also influence migraines, including eating cheese, skipping meals and consuming alcohol. For women, changes in their hormones can lead to migraines. Even taking birth control pills can trigger them in some individuals. Changes can lead people to having a migraine as well. If the temperature outside changes drastically or the person is experiencing high levels of stress, migraines can occur. A severe migraine is often a mixture of various triggers. For example, if you are not sleeping or eating well because of stress, you may end up with a very harsh migraine headache.
In addition to working on making changes to your lifestyle, you may need to see your doctor for prescription medications for migraines. Generally, a group of drugs called triptans will be prescribed. It is best to see your doctor if you suffer from migraines instead of trying to self medicate.