What is a migraine?
A migraine typically causes throbbing pain that affects the head and sometimes the back of the neck. Other than head pain, other symptoms of a migraine may be sensitivity to sound and light, and nausea. Migraine headaches typically develop in early adulthood.
The most common symptoms are:
- Throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head
- Sensitivity to lights and sounds
- Nausea and vomiting
- Visual disturbances, such as auras, flashing lights, and blind spots
Migraine symptoms range in severity. At their worst, they cause disability and interfere with your ability to work, attend school, or participate in your favorite activities.
Causes and Risks
Migraine headaches have several different causes. Migraines can result from changes in the chemicals, blood vessels and nerves in our brain. Genetics can also play a role in predisposing persons to migraines. Although the cause of migraines are varied, there are several factors that can trigger them:
- Food and drink
- Changes in hormones
For people with migraines, living a stress-free and healthy life is important. This can be the best way to prevent a migraine attack.
Treatment and Prevention
There is not a permanent cure for migraines, however symptoms may be alleviated through acute and preventive migraine treatments.
During a migraine headache, rest and sleep can help alleviate migraine symptoms. Because people can be sensitive to light and sound during a migraine attack, it can help to rest in a dark, quiet room.
Certain medications are effective in preventing migraines. These can include medications such as amitriptyline, topiramate, gabapentin,
There are also medication that help to abort migraine headaches. These can range from NSAIDS such as ibuprofen, acetaminophen, to medications specific for migraines headaches such as Ubrelvy ™ and Nurtec ®. People who experience migraines for 15 or more days per month may benefit from Botox ®. Botox treatments are given every 3 months. Botox has been shown to reduce the number of monthly episodes of migraine headaches.