Migraine headache Migraine headache It is the most common type of vascular headache. The pain of a migraine headache is described as a strong pulsating or throbbing pain in an area of the head. There are a number of different types of migraines. Begins on one side of the head but can in due course extend to the other side. An episode lasts one to two days. It is a term that suggests the disorder's greater incidence in the general population. Common migraine pain can last three or four days.
Classic and common migraine can hit as frequently as many times a week or as infrequently as once every few years. Both types can happen at any time. Some people, though, experience migraines at expected times for example close to the days of menstruation, every Saturday morning following a stressful week of work.
Forms of migraine headache Hemiplegic migraine Ophthalmoplegic migraine. Basilar artery migraine People with hemiplegic migraines have impermanent paralysis, or hemiplegia, on one side of the body. This type is typified by pain around the eye. This involves a disturbance of a major brain artery at the base of the brain. This type of migraine happens mainly in adolescent and young adult women, and it is frequently related with the menstrual cycle. This is brought on by running, lifting, coughing, sneezing, or bending. The headache starts at the beginning of activity, and pain not often lasts more than a few minutes. This is an uncommon and acute type of migraine that can last 72 hours or even longer. The pain and nausea are so strong that persons who have this type of headache should be hospitalized. The use of particular drugs can set off status migrainosus. Neurologists state that many of their status migrainosus patients were depressed and uneasy before they underwent headache attacks. People do not undergo head pain with this condition. Headache specialists have suggested that unsolved pain in a certain part of the body, fever, and dizziness could
Benign exertional headache
also be probable types of headache-free migraine. Scope Migraine headaches usually affect persons between the ages of 15 and 55 years old. More women than men are affected. Migraine headaches usually decrease in frequency and severity with age. Both sexes can develop migraine during infancy, but most often the disorder begins when the patient is between the ages of 5 and 35 years. Etiology Researchers are uncertain about the exact cause of migraine headaches. There seems to be general agreement that a main element is blood flow changes in the brain. People who get migraine headaches seem to have blood vessels that exaggerate to different triggers. Scientists have developed one theory of migraine that elucidates these blood flow alterations and also particular biochemical alterations that may be concerned in the headache process. According to this theory, the nervous system acts in response to a trigger like stress by make a spasm occur of the nerve-rich arteries at the base of the brain. The contraction constrains many arteries bringing in blood to the brain, including the scalp and the carotid arteries. (Lipton & Stewart 2005) As arteries restrict, the blood flow to the brain is decreased. In unison, platelets pack together, a process to discharge serotonin. Serotonin proceeds as a prevailing constrictor of arteries; hence, further lowering the blood flow to the brain. Reduced blood flow lessens the supply of oxygen in the brain. Symptoms indicate a headache, hazy vision or speech alterations. Responding to the diminished oxygen supply, certain arteries in the brain get bigger to meet the brain's energy needs. This dilation extends, in the end affecting the neck and scalp arteries. The dilation of these arteries triggers the release of prostaglandins from different tissues and blood cells. Substances that cause irritation and swelling and substances or materials that intensify sensitivity to pain are also released. The movement of these chemicals and the dilation of the scalp arteries fire up the pain-sensitive nociceptors. The effect is a throbbing or pulsating pain in the head. The connection between female hormones and migraine is still vague. Women can have menstrual migraine or headaches at about the time of their menstrual period which also peters out in the course of pregnancy. Other women develop migraine when they are pregnant, and
some are affected after menopause. The impact of oral contraceptives on headaches is still confounding. Scientists indicate that some women with migraine who take birth control pills undergo more frequent and acute attacks. Nevertheless, a small proportion of women have less-severe migraine headaches when they take birth control pills. Additionally, women who do not have headaches can begin with migraine episodes as an adverse effect when they make use of oral contraceptives. A lot of people who have migraine headaches possess a positive family history. The precise hereditary description of this condition is still indefinite, though affected individuals are thought to have an inborn abnormality in the adaptation of blood vessels. The beginning of migraine headaches is frequently set off by some events or conditions. These may include stress and other emotive reactions as well as biologic and environmental situations. Exhaustion, glaring or iridescent lights, alterations in the weather, sleeplessness, hormonal problems, for the women only, concern, strain, and certain foods can set off migraine. A number of scientists deem that there are some foods like yogurt, nuts, lima beans which contain chemical substances like tyramine. These limit arteries and commence the migraine process. Other scientists believe that foods may cause headaches by triggering an allergic reaction in vulnerable persons. Though a food-triggered migraine normally happens soon after eating, other triggers might not cause direct pain. Scientists convey that people can develop migraine not merely during a period of stress but also after that, when their vascular systems are still acting in response. Symptoms Symptoms of migraine can diverge, and some symptoms are related with distinctive types of migraines. A classic migraine headache is characterized by severe sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Some people can envisage the beginning of a classic migraine, since it is preceded by so-called aura, or a visual disturbance that appears as flashing lights, zigzag lines, or a temporary loss of vision. A common migraine is not preceded by an aura. However, some people may undergo different indistinct symptoms in advance, like mental fuzziness, mood changes, fatigue, and unusual retention of fluids. In the course of the headache phase of a common migraine, a person can have diarrhea and increased urination as well as nausea and vomiting.
Additionally, temporary paralysis, and some people with hemiplegic migraine can experience vision problems and vertigo. These symptoms begin 10 to 90 minutes before the beginning of the actual headache pain. Symptoms with ophthalmoplegic migraine include droopy eyelid, diplopia, and other visual problems. Persons having basilar artery migraines often have pre-headache indications that may include vertigo, diplopia, and reduced muscular coordination. Finally, patients who have headache-free migraines can have visual problems, nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea. Diagnosis A detailed question-and-answer conference with a patient can frequently construct enough information for a diagnosis. Many types of headaches have clear-cut symptoms that fall into an easily recognizable pattern. Doctors ought to obtain a full medical history from the patient, inquisitive of about past head trauma or surgery, eye stress, sinus troubles, dental problems, difficulties with opening and closing of the mouth, and the usage of medications. A complete and careful physical and neurologic examination will rule out several possibilities and will concentrate on the indication of aneurysm, meningitis, or certain brain tumors. Laboratory testing can be ordered to screen for thyroid disease, anemia, or infections that might cause a headache. An electroencephalogram can be indicated to measure brain activity. Electroencephalograms can point out a malfunction in the brain, but they normally cannot identify a problem that may be causing a headache. A computed tomographic scan or a magnetic resonance imaging scan can be made use of when a patient has extraordinary headaches. The outcomes of these scans can rule out other malfunctions related with headaches, like a hemorrhage or a brain tumor. Prevention Drug therapy, biofeedback training, stress reduction, and the elimination of particularized foods from the diet are the most common methods of averting migraine headaches. Regular exercise like swimming, vigorous walking can also lessen the occurrences and seriousness of migraines. Science experts approximate that a small percentage of these patients will benefit from a treatment program concentrated solely on eliminating headache-provoking foods and beverages.
Finally, many specialists suggest that people with migraines avert from oversleeping on weekends. (Portyanski 2006)
References: Migraine Health (2006); Migraine types; National Headache Foundation; Retrieved April 12, 2008 from < http://womenshealth.aetna.com/WH/ihtWH/r.WSIHW000/st.48340/t.48425.html> Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (1998); Classification and diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, cranial neuralgias and facial pain; Cephalalgia; 8(suppl 7):S1-96. Lipton, R., & Stewart, W. (1995); Migraine in the United States: epidemiology and health care use; Neurology; 43(suppl 3):6-10 Portyansky, E. (2006); Latest advances deliver a blow to migraine pain. Drug Topics; 141:34-7