Migraine is a chronic disorder characterized by headache;
and nausea, vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound.
are unable to differentiate migraine from other headaches. A typical migraine
headache is usually felt on one side of the head and patients describe it as
throbbing or pulsating kind of pain. These headaches are ‘episodic headaches’
means they can occur anywhere from once or twice a year to 1-4 times a month
but in between, there are prolonged pain free intervals.
is three times more common in women than men. It generally appears for the
first time between 10-45 years of age.
Previously the doctors linked migraines with the
opening and narrowing of blood vessels in the head. However, now they believe
that it is related to genes that control the activity of some brain cells. The
exact chain of events still remains unclear. Migraine attacks are believed to
begin in the brain, and involve nerve pathways and chemicals. This abnormal
brain activity triggers a migraine.
Avoiding the triggering factors and using preventive
migraine drugs can help reduce the frequency of attacks. Treatment with
analgesics (to relieve the pain) and anti-emetics (to relieve the nausea or
vomiting) can help relieve symptoms during a migraine attack. Treatments to
relieve stress can also be helpful to prevent migraine.