What is Migraine ?
Migraine is a type of headache characterized by moderate to severe pain often accompanied by a pulsing or throbbing sensation. It is often accompanied by symptoms such as sensitivity to light, noise, or smell, nausea, and vomiting. Migraines can last for hours to days and can have a significant impact on a person’s quality of life. The exact cause of migraines is not known, but it is believed to involve changes in the levels of certain chemicals in the brain, as well as genetic and environmental factors.
What are The Causes of Migraine ?
The exact cause of migraines is not known, but several factors have been identified that may trigger or worsen the condition. Some of the common triggers include:
- Hormonal changes in women, such as during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause.
- Certain foods, such as aged cheeses, chocolate, or processed foods.
- Stress and anxiety
- Lack of sleep or changes in sleep patterns
- Bright lights, sun glare, or computer screens
- Physical exertion or changes in physical activity levels
- Weather changes or barometric pressure fluctuations
- Skipping meals or fasting
- Certain medications, such as hormonal contraceptives or vasodilators
It’s important to note that what triggers migraines can vary from person to person and that it may take some time to identify what triggers your migraines.
How to Diagnose Migraine ?
Migraines are typically diagnosed based on the symptoms a person experiences and a review of their medical history. The following steps are typically involved in diagnosing migraines:
- Medical history review: Your doctor will ask about your symptoms, including the frequency, duration, and intensity of your headaches, as well as any triggers or factors that make your headaches worse.
- Physical examination: Your doctor will perform a physical examination to rule out other potential causes of your headache, such as a sinus infection or brain tumor.
- Neurological examination: Your doctor may perform a neurological examination to assess your vision, hearing, balance, coordination, and reflexes.
- Imaging tests: In some cases, your doctor may order an MRI or CT scan to rule out other potential causes of your headache, such as a brain tumor.
- Diagnostic criteria: Your doctor may use diagnostic criteria, such as the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD), to help diagnose your headache as a migraine.
It’s important to see a doctor if you experience frequent or severe headaches, as they could be a symptom of another underlying condition that requires medical attention.