Sunday, July 3, 2022
HomeExclusiveWhat Are Migraines And What Causes Them

What Are Migraines And What Causes Them

Causes Of Ocular Migraine

What causes migraines?

An ocular or ophthalmic migraine is hold your breath a painless migraine! These are, however, associated with visual disturbances in both eyes. You may experience flickering or flashing lights, lines, stars, or blind spots that deter your vision. About 35 percent of migraine sufferers experience this kind of an aura, visual or otherwise. A painless migraine such as an ocular migraine is considered a migraine equivalent.1

Can Stress Cause Migraines

Yes. Stress can trigger both migraine and tension-type headache. Events like getting married, moving to a new home, or having a baby can cause stress. But studies show that everyday stresses not major life changes cause most headaches. Juggling many roles, such as being a mother and wife, having a career, and financial pressures, can be daily stresses for women.

Making time for yourself and finding healthy ways to deal with stress are important. Some things you can do to help prevent or reduce stress include:

  • Eating healthy foods
  • Being active
  • Doing relaxation exercises
  • Getting enough sleep

Try to figure out what causes you to feel stressed. You may be able to cut out some of these stressors. For example, if driving to work is stressful, try taking the bus or subway. You can take this time to read or listen to music, rather than deal with traffic. For stressors you can’t avoid, keeping organized and doing as much as you can ahead of time will help you to feel in control.

Can Migraines Be Prevented

You can’t prevent every migraine. But learning your triggers and trying to avoid them can help. Take a break from activities that might start a migraine, such as using the computer for a long time. If you know that some foods are triggers, skip them. Some people find that cutting back on caffeine or drinking a lot of water can help prevent migraines.

Make a plan for all the things you have to do especially during stressful times like exams so you don’t feel overwhelmed when things pile up. Regular exercise also can reduce stress and make you feel better.

The more you understand about your headaches, the better prepared you can be to fight them.

You May Like: Nsaid For Migraine

What Are Some Ways I Can Prevent Migraine

The best way to prevent migraine is to find out what triggers your attacks and avoid or limit these triggers. Since migraine headaches are more common during times of stress, finding healthy ways to cut down on and cope with stress might help. Talk with your doctor about starting a fitness program or taking a class to learn relaxation skills.

Talk with your doctor if you need to take your pain-relief medicine more than twice a week. Doing so can lead to rebound headaches. If your doctor has prescribed medicine for you to help prevent migraine, take them exactly as prescribed. Ask what you should do if you miss a dose and how long you should take the medicine. Talk with your doctor if the amount of medicine you are prescribed is not helping your headaches.

Migraine In Other Inherited Disorders

Migraine Headache

Migraine occurs with increased frequency in patients with mitochondrial disorders, such as MELAS . CADASIL is a genetic disorder that causes migraine with aura, strokes before the age of 60, progressive cognitive dysfunction, and behavioral changes.

CADASIL is inherited in an autosomal dominant fashion, and most patients with the disorder have an affected parent. Approximately 90% of cases result from mutations of the < INOTCH3< I> gene, located on chromosome 19. Patients with CADASIL have significant morbidity from their ailment, and life expectancy is approximately 68 years.

Migraine is also a common symptom in other genetic vasculopathies, including 2 autosomal dominant disorders: RVCL , which is caused by mutations in the TREX1 gene, and HIHRATL , which is suggested to be caused by mutations in the COL4A1 gene. The mechanisms by which these genetic vasculopathies give rise to migraine are still unclear.

You May Like: Excedrin Migraine Shortage

What Are The Four Stages Or Phases Of A Migraine Whats The Timeline

The four stages in chronological order are the prodrome , aura, headache and postdrome. About 30% of people experience symptoms before their headache starts.

The phases are:

  • Prodrome: The first stage lasts a few hours, or it can last days. You may or may not experience it as it may not happen every time. Some know it as the preheadache or premonitory phase.
  • Aura: The aura phase can last as long as 60 minutes or as little as five. Most people dont experience an aura, and some have both the aura and the headache at the same time.
  • Headache: About four hours to 72 hours is how long the headache lasts. The word ache doesnt do the pain justice because sometimes its mild, but usually, its described as drilling, throbbing or you may feel the sensation of an icepick in your head. Typically it starts on one side of your head and then spreads to the other side.
  • Postdrome: The postdrome stage goes on for a day or two. Its often called a migraine hangover and 80% of those who have migraines experience it.
  • It can take about eight to 72 hours to go through the four stages.

    When Should I Seek Help For My Headaches

    Sometimes, headache can signal a more serious problem. You should talk to your doctor about your headaches if:

    • You have several headaches per month and each lasts for several hours or days
    • Your headaches disrupt your home, work, or school life
    • You have nausea, vomiting, vision, or other sensory problems
    • You have pain around the eye or ear
    • You have a severe headache with a stiff neck
    • You have a headache with confusion or loss of alertness
    • You have a headache with convulsions
    • You have a headache after a blow to the head
    • You used to be headache-free, but now have headaches a lot

    Also Check: Which Condition Commonly Accompanies Migraine Headaches

    I Get Migraines Right Before My Period Could They Be Related To My Menstrual Cycle

    More than half of migraines in women occur right before, during, or after a woman has her period. This often is called “menstrual migraine.” But, just a small fraction of women who have migraine around their period only have migraine at this time. Most have migraine headaches at other times of the month as well.

    How the menstrual cycle and migraine are linked is still unclear. We know that just before the cycle begins, levels of the female hormones, estrogen and progesterone, go down sharply. This drop in hormones may trigger a migraine, because estrogen controls chemicals in the brain that affect a woman’s pain sensation.

    Talk with your doctor if you think you have menstrual migraine. You may find that medicines, making lifestyle changes, and home treatment methods can prevent or reduce the pain.

    Preventative Medication And Therapies

    What causes migraines?

    If you experience frequent migraines, your GP might discuss preventative medication options with you.

    It is important to note that preventatives for migraines are not pain medication, but help to reduce the number of migraines. They take time to work, so the minimum time period required may be three to six months. Contact your GP or specialist for further information. All of these treatments have their advantages and disadvantages and some of the medications might not be suitable for everybody.

    You might find that this medication reduces the frequency and severity of your attacks but does not stop them completely. You will need to continue your other migraine treatments when you experience an attack.

    National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends that GPs and specialists should consider the following drugs and therapies if they think you might benefit from preventative treatment:

    Beta blocking drugs

    These drugs are traditionally used to treat angina and high blood pressure. It has been found that certain beta-blockers prevent migraine attacks. Beta-blockers are unsuitable for people with certain conditions.

    Topiramate

    This drug is typically prescribed for the treatment of epilepsy but has also been found to help reduce the frequency of migraines. Again, it is not suitable for everyone. In particular, women who are pregnant or thinking about getting pregnant should be advised of the associated side effects.

    Amitriptyline

    Acupuncture

    Botulinum toxin type A

    Recommended Reading: Migraine Causing Numbness

    Migraines: What Causes Them And How To Treat Them

    What image comes to mind when you hear the word migraine? You probably think of an atrocious and persistent headache and envisage someone clutching their head in pain.

    Well, theres truth in that: headache is a common migraine symptom. But migraines dont always involve headaches and do involve a number of symptoms affecting other parts of your body. So, whats going on?

    Types And Causes Of Common Headaches

    The most common types of headaches are tension and migraine headaches. Tension headaches strike when the muscles in the head and neck tighten. Migraines come on when supersensitive nerve endings in the brain create pain.

    But what makes the muscles tense, or causes some nerve endings in the brain to become so sensitive? That’s not as well understood. Those causes of headaches can vary from person to person. But some triggers are common.

    Tension headaches are often set off by:

    • stress
    • hunger
    • caffeine withdrawal
    • abrupt cessation of medications that contain caffeine, such as some pain-relieving medications like ibuprofen or acetaminophen
    • weather changes
    • food and drinks, such as chocolate processed foods that contain monosodium glutamate or alcohol

    Many of those triggers for tension headachesespecially stress, hunger, fatigue, and lack of sleepcan also set off a migraine headache. But nailing down causes of headaches in the migraine category is a little trickier the headaches may stem from many factors, or combinations of factors. The particular combination is specific to an individual. Potential culprits include

    Recommended Reading: Vestibular Migraine Natural Remedies

    What Is The Prognosis For People With Migraines

    Migraines are unique to each individual. Likewise, how migraines are managed is also unique. The best outcomes are usually achieved by learning and avoiding personal migraine triggers, managing symptoms, practicing preventive methods, following the advice of your healthcare provider and reporting any significant changes as soon as they occur.

    What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine

    What Are The Underlying Causes Of Chronic Migraines?

    The main symptoms of migraine are an intense, throbbing or pounding headache often affecting the front or one side of the head, nausea and sometimes vomiting , and an increased sensitivity to light smells and sound. The throbbing headache is often made worse by the person moving.

    Other symptoms of migraine might include poor concentration, feeling hot or cold, perspiration , and an increased need to pass urine. This can occur before, during or after the migraine attack.

    People might also experience stomach aches and diarrhoea.

    It is common for people to feel tired for up to two or three days after a migraine.

    Recommended Reading: Migraine Symptoms Chills

    Should You See A Doctor

    Headaches are common among people and often go away on their own. But migraines need timely care and treatment. If you are facing any of the below symptoms, see a doctor.

    • Vision problems in conjunction with a headache.
    • Headaches with sensory problems.
    • Confusion or loss of alertness.
    • Have a severe headache resulting in a stiff neck.
    • Consuming painkillers for headaches that occur twice a week.
    • Experience frequent headaches without any history of migraines.

    Immediate Action Required: You Should Call 999 Or 112 For An Ambulance Immediately If You Or Someone You’re With Experiences:

    • paralysis or weakness in one or both arms or one side of the face
    • slurred or garbled speech
    • a sudden very painful headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
    • headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash

    These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition.

    Read Also: Side Effects Of Migraine Medications

    What Are The Risk Factors For Migraines

    Common migraine risk factors include:

    • Age: Migraines may affect individuals of all ages, but initial migraine symptoms sometimes occur during adolescence. Also, migraines tend to peak in a persons 30s, but they may become less intense in the years to follow.
    • Family History: If a blood relative previously experienced migraines, an individuals risk of experiencing migraine symptoms may increase accordingly.
    • Gender: Boys may be more susceptible than girls to migraines during adolescence. However, women generally are more susceptible to migraines than men.
    • Hormonal Changes: Women may experience migraines just before or shortly after menstruation occurs. A womans migraine symptoms may change due to pregnancy or menopause as well.

    A person who believes he or she is dealing with migraines should not wait to receive treatment. Instead, this individual should meet with a doctor who can analyze his or her symptoms. By receiving a migraine diagnosis, a patient can take the first step to alleviate migraine symptoms both now and in the future.

    What Are The Treatments For Migraine

    What CAUSES HEADACHES and HOW to TREAT them??

    There is no absolute cure for migraine. However, lots of treatments are available to help ease the symptoms of a migraine attack.

    When a migraine attack occurs, most people find that lying down in a quiet, dark room is helpful. Sleeping can also help. Some people find that their symptoms die down after they have vomited .

    Most people affected by migraine will already have tried paracetamol, aspirin and perhaps anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen before they seek advice from their doctor. If ordinary painkillers alone are not relieving your symptoms, your GP might prescribe you a triptan to be taken in addition to over-the-counter painkillers . Triptans are available in different forms to suit individuals , although it is important to note that some people develop short-term side effects when taking triptans. Your doctor may also prescribe you anti-sickness medication. If your situation does not improve after treatment, you might be referred to a specialist migraine clinic.

    It is important to avoid taking painkillers on more than two days per week or more than 10 days per month as this can in fact make things worse by triggering medication overuse headaches.

    Recommended Reading: Confusional Migraine Symptoms

    What Are The Types Of Headaches What Type Of Headache Is A Migraine

    There are over 150 types of headaches, divided into two categories: primary headaches and secondary headaches. A migraine is a primary headache, meaning that it isnt caused by a different medical condition. Primary headache disorders are clinical diagnoses, meaning theres no blood test or imaging study to diagnose it. A secondary headache is a symptom of another health issue.

    What Are Some Migraine Risk Factors And Triggers

    Some risk factors make you more likely to get migraine headaches. Other things may trigger a migraine.

    Common migraine risk factors include the following:

    • Family history: You are much more likely to have migraines if one or both of your parents had migraines.
    • Sex: Women are more likely than men to have migraines.
    • Age: Most people have their first migraine during adolescence, but migraines can start at any age, usually before age 40.

    Common migraine triggers include the following:

    • Food and drink: Certain food and drink may cause migraines. Dehydration and dieting or skipping meals may also trigger migraines.
    • Hormone changes: Women may experience migraines related to their menstrual cycles, to menopause, or to using hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy.
    • Stress: Stress may trigger migraines. Stress includes feeling overwhelmed at home or work. But you can also become stressed by exercising too much or not getting enough sleep.
    • Senses: Loud sounds, bright lights , or strong smells may trigger migraines.
    • Medicines: Certain medicines may trigger migraines. If you think your migraines might be related to your medicine, talk to your doctor. Your doctor may be able to prescribe a different medicine.
    • Illness: Infections, such as the cold or the flu, may trigger migraines, especially in children.

    Foods that may trigger migraines:

    • Aged, canned, cured, or processed meat
    • Aged cheese
    • Soy sauce

    You May Like: 8 Weeks Pregnant Headache

    What Else You Should Know About Ocular Migraines

    An ocular migraine is short-lived and may not be painful, but it can be debilitating you have to be careful while doing daily activities like driving, reading, or writing. The chance of permanent vision loss due to an ocular migraine is rare but the reduced blood flow for a prolonged time can damage your retina. So it is a good idea to make an appointment with your ophthalmologist to check your condition.

    Since hormones play such a big role in causing migraines, declining estrogen levels as women age and enter menopause is a reason why migraines usually reduce in severity in older women.11

    What Is The Treatment

    Migraine

    Migraine is complex and there are different treatments available. The right treatment for you will depend on the type of migraine, your symptoms, how often you have attacks and how bad they are. It will also depend on your medical history.

    Migraine treatment usually includes acute treatment such as painkillers and anti-sickness medication to stop or shorten an attack. If you are having more than four attacks a month you can ask your GP about preventive treatment. This is usually taken every day to reduce how often you have attacks and how bad they are.

    Reviewing any lifestyle factors or triggers that may contribute to the attacks, such as stress, change in routine and sleep patterns, can help. There is currently no cure for migraine.

    Don’t Miss: Migraine Fingers Numb

    What Happens During A Migraine

    Every migraine begins differently. Sometimes people get a warning that a migraine is on its way. A few hours or even days before the actual headache, people might feel funny or “not right. They might crave different foods, or feel thirsty, irritable, tired, or even full of energy. This is called a “premonition.”

    Some people get auras. These are neurological symptoms that start just before the headache and last up to an hour. An aura is different in every person, but it often affects vision. For example, a person might:

    • have blurred vision
    • see spots, colored balls, jagged lines, or bright flashing lights
    • smell a certain odor
    • feel tingling in a part of their face

    Once the headache starts, light, smell, or sound may bother people with migraines or make them feel worse. Sometimes, if they try to continue with their usual routine, they may become nauseated and vomit. Often the pain begins only on one side of the head, but it might eventually affect both sides. Trying to do physical activities can make the pain worse.

    Most migraines last from 30 minutes to several hours some can last a couple of days.

    RELATED ARTICLES

    Popular Articles