Migraine is a recurrent type of headache that has a throbbing or pulsating nature. It most often affects one side of the head but may also be seen on both sides. It is known to affect three times as many women as men. Migraine headaches typically last from 4 to 72 hours and vary in frequency from daily to fewer than one per year.
Some of the common symptoms of migraine
- Eye pain or Changes in vision-like seeing spots/flashes
- Severe pain on one side of the head that is usually described as pounding, throbbing or pulsating,
- Nausea and /or vomiting,
- Pain in temples
- Changes in vision-like seeing spots/flashes
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Some known triggers of migraine
- Hormonal changes – such as those that occur in women around periods.
- Related to food – such as skipping or delaying meals, certain food items such as cheese, salty or processed food. Aspartame which is often used as sweetener and the preservative monosodium glutamate (MSG) which is found especially in fast foods, may trigger migraines.
- Drinks- such as Alcohol, especially wine and highly caffeinated beverages may trigger migraines.
- Stress is a known trigger factor for migraine. Both physical and mental stress may be a cause.
- Bright lights, loud sound, strong smells may trigger migraine.
- Sleep – any sudden changes in sleep pattern may cause migraine.
- Certain medication- such a OCPs , anti-hypertensive (vein dilators) may trigger headache.
- Exertion – Intense workout or sexual activity may trigger a migraine.
Even though there are medicines to treat/prevent migraines, learning to modify your lifestyle and behavioural changes is the most effective and safe way to handle migraines.
- Learn to know and manage your triggers – avoid foods or habits that act as trigger.
- Eat on time- never delay or skip a meal.
- Avoid causing sudden changes in your sleep routine – sleep early and make sure to have an uninterrupted sleep of at least 7-8 hours.
- Learn to manage your stress – deep breathing exercises and yoga are excellent ways.