Migraine is a common and disabling neurological disorder. According to the Global Burden of Disease Study (2019), global migraine prevalence was at 14–15% and growing, which translates to over 1 billion people affected worldwide.
In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about migraines, including the causes, types, statistics, treatment and prevention.
What is a Migraine Attack?
It’s a headache with moderate to severe pain on one or both sides of the head that is often accompanied by symptoms that include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last anywhere from a few hours to several days. Some people experience warning signs or symptoms before a migraine attack, such as visual disturbances or tingling in the hands or face.
Types of Migraine
- Migraine without aura: This is the most common type of migraine, which does not have any warning signs or symptoms.
- Migraine with aura: This type of migraine is accompanied by warning signs or symptoms, such as visual disturbances, tingling in the hands or face and difficulty speaking.
- Chronic migraine: It occurs more than 15 days a month.
- Vestibular migraine: This type of migraine is associated with dizziness and vertigo.
- Menstrual migraine: Women usually experience this during their menstrual cycle.
Common Causes of Migraine
The exact cause of migraine is still not fully understood, but there are several common triggers, including:
- Hormonal changes
- Consumption of certain food and drinks, such as alcohol and caffeine
- Lack of sleep
- Environmental factors, such as bright lights, loud noises, and strong odours
- Sudden change in weather
There are several treatment options for migraine, including:
- Pain-relieving medications prescribed by the doctor such as Ibuprofen and Aspirin
- Triptans, which are specifically designed to treat migraines
- Anti-nausea medications
- Botox injections, which can help prevent chronic migraines
- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage and cognitive-behavioural therapy
Ways to Prevent Migraine
There are several ways to prevent migraine, including:
- Identifying and avoiding triggers
- Maintaining a regular sleep schedule
- Staying hydrated
- Engaging in regular exercise
- Practising relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation
- Taking preventative medications such as beta-blockers and antidepressants
If you experience frequent or severe migraine, immediately consult a doctor for the right treatment.