Migraine is one of the most common headache conditions, affecting women more than men.
Migraine usually begins on one side of the head and feels like a severe throbbing or pulsating pain that worsens with physical exertion. This pain may also be accompanied by nausea, dizziness, and light or noise sensitivity.
Some people experience an aura; flashes of light, blind spots or zig zag lines that appear before the headache begins. Other symptoms of aura include vision loss, pins and needles sensations in arms or legs, weakness, hearing noises or music, or difficulty speaking.
Causes of migraine are not completely understood, although genetics and environmental factors are involved. Blood vessel abnormalities and neurotransmitter variations have been found to be present during migraine attacks.
Patients may find that certain environmental or biological conditions trigger an attack. Common migraine triggers are hormonal fluctuations, certain foods, food additives, alcoholic or caffeinated beverages, stress, bright lights or glaring sunlight, loud noises, strong smells, intense physical exertion, dehydration, changes in weather or barometric pressure, lack of sleep or too much sleep, and medications.
A comprehensive medical history and physical examination is the first step to diagnosis and treatment. Your doctor may order a CT scan or MRI to rule out other causes of headache pain.
Common treatments for Migraine include: