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What is Migraine - Symptoms, Causes, Prevention and Relief?

Migraine, also known as migraine headaches are periodic bouts of intense headaches.

Trupti Ramball 

Stressed woman image via Shutterstock
Stressed woman image via Shutterstock

Migraine, also known as migraine headaches are periodic bouts of intense headaches. In 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 the nerves that coil around the artery to stretch which makes them release chemicals like serotonin that 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 headaches is still unclear but researchers believe genetics plays a major role. Women are more susceptible to attacks then men.

Symptoms and Causes
headaches are vascular in nature and can be distinguish from common headaches easily. Firstly 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 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 headaches are mostly classified in to two types the first being classic wherein the patient suffers headaches along with other symptoms such as light flashes (aura). The other type of is common 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.

Prevention and Relief
Making certain lifestyle changes and avoiding triggers are the best way to fight and prevent migraine headaches. Overall good can also help reduce the intensity of the headaches and make them more bearable. Thus eating a and exercising regularly can help provide relief in Drinking plenty of water and eating regularly can also help. Managing through mediation and Yoga are few other useful steps. Some patients also maintain a diary that helps them manage their condition better.

Treatment and Cure
As such there is no absolute cure for headaches. But one of the best ways to overcome is to identify the triggers and avoid them. If or red wine gives you headaches then the best way to combat it is to avoid and red wine. Doctors may also prescribe preventive drugs that can prevent from occurring. These preventive drugs are prescribed in severe cases where headache bouts occur multiple times a day. In case of rare occurrence of headaches mostly OTC pain relief medication is prescribed. Along with pain killer, medicine may also be prescribed by the doctor to fight symptoms of Magnetic stimulation using a (TMS) is another way to prevent headaches which has been developed recently. and 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.                

First Published: Mon, November 06 2017. 12:35 IST