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Migraine, also known as migraine headaches are periodic bouts of intense headaches. In migraine the pain mostly occurs on one side of the head but it can also be on both the sides. Migraine is caused because of enlargement of blood vessels combined with release of chemicals. Migraine headaches attacks are actually enlargement of the temporal artery which lies under the skin of the temple. This enlargement causes the nerves that coil around the artery to stretch which makes them release chemicals like serotonin that causes pain and inflammation. This phenomenon further enlarges the temporal artery causing migraine headaches. The headaches can last for around four hours to 3 days and in some rare and severe cases even longer. The exact reason of why people develop migraine headaches is still unclear but researchers believe genetics plays a major role. Women are more susceptible to migraine attacks then men.
Migraine Symptoms and Causes
Migraine headaches are vascular in nature and can be distinguish from common headaches easily. Firstly migraine headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, sensitivity of light, sound and smell, dizziness, blurred vision, light (aura) flashes and more. In some cases only these accompanied symptoms may be present without the headache. The frequency of migraine headaches bouts vary from every few days to once or twice in a year. Also the intensity can vary from mild or moderate to severe chronic migraine. Migraine headaches are mostly classified in to two types the first being classic migraine wherein the patient suffers migraine headaches along with other symptoms such as light flashes (aura). The other type of migraine is common migraine wherein other symptoms such as light flashes before the headache begins are absent. In people affected with migraine, the headaches can get trigged because of external factors such as stress, change in weather, food items, caffeine, exhaustion, menstrual cycle, strong smell, lack of sleep or food and more.
Migraine Prevention and Relief
Making certain lifestyle changes and avoiding triggers are the best way to fight and prevent migraine headaches. Overall good health can also help reduce the intensity of the headaches and make them more bearable. Thus eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly can help provide relief in migraine. Drinking plenty of water and eating regularly can also help. Managing stress through mediation and Yoga are few other useful steps. Some patients also maintain a migraine diary that helps them manage their condition better.
Migraine Treatment and Cure
As such there is no absolute cure for migraine headaches. But one of the best ways to overcome migraine is to identify the triggers and avoid them. If stress or red wine gives you migraine headaches then the best way to combat it is to avoid stress and red wine. Doctors may also prescribe preventive drugs that can prevent migraine from occurring. These preventive drugs are prescribed in severe cases where headache bouts occur multiple times a day. In case of rare occurrence of migraine headaches mostly OTC pain relief medication is prescribed. Along with pain killer, nausea medicine may also be prescribed by the doctor to fight symptoms of migraine. Magnetic stimulation using a trans-cranial magnetic stimulator (TMS) is another way to prevent migraine headaches which has been developed recently. Vitamin B and folic acid has been found useful in providing relief to some individuals hence supplements rich in these nutrients instead of addictive pain killers can also be used.