What is migraine?
With migraine, patients suffer from moderate to quite severe headaches. The cause of migraine hasn't been found yet.
In over half of the cases there are things that cause a migraine attack, for example:
- The pill (oral contraceptives)
- Emotional stress
- Physical exercise
- Sleep deprivation
- Foods and drinks: cheese, alcohol and coffee
What are symptoms of migraine?
Symptoms of a migraine attack can last for 4 to 72 hours. Typical symptoms for a migraine attack are:
- An 'aura', for 15 to 30 minutes (see below for symptoms of an aura)
- Moderate to severe headaches
- One-sided headaches
- Hypersensitivity to light and sound
- Other changes in sensory perception
Often people experience an aura before they get a migraine attack. Symptoms of a migraine-aura:
- Seeing flashing, shimmering, blurry spots and other vision-abnormalities
- A tingling, stinging or burning sensations from the face down to the fingers
- Trouble with balance and precise movement
- Trouble speaking and coming up with words
Is migraine serious and should I see a doctor?
Migraine is a very bothersome condition, but not dangerous. Because the symptoms can be so severe, but can be treated quite effectively, it's important to contact a doctor.
Contact a doctor:
- To prescribe treatment
- When the first migraine attack occurs at an age over 40
- With regular complaints of migraine attacks
- With a sudden change in symptoms
- With a sudden increase in frequency of attacks
- With new symptoms, such as:
- Feeling dazed
What can I do about migraine myself?
The most important treatment of migraine is medication, a doctor can prescribe this. Other than that there are several measures you can take yourself:
- Hot or cold compresses
- Breathing in a paper bag
- A different pill or a different type of contraception
- Avoiding things that can cause a migraine attack:
- Physical exercise
What does migraine do to my body?
The cause of migraine isn't clear yet, there is data that suggest that its a condition of the nerves in the brain, in which the brain is overstimulated. With a lot of people there's a genetic component, where other family members also have migraines.