Migraines are severe, recurring, and painful headaches affecting 36 million Americans.


The causes of migraine is not know.  It is suspected that migraines occur due to abnormal abnormality in the brain.  Also genetics may make someone more sensitive to the triggers that cause migraines.

Following are the salient features that can trigger a migraine.

Medications:   Contraceptive pills and hormonal replacement therapy are said to trigger migraines.

Environment:  Flickering screens, second hand smoke, strong smell, loud noise, stuffy room, bright lights are the possible triggers.

Diet:  Caffeine and alcohol can contribute in triggering migraines.  Some other foods are chocolate, cheese, citrus fruits.  Also dehydration can trigger a migraine.

Physical causes:  Tiredness, insufficient sleep, sleeping posture, shoulder or neck tension, physical overextension, low blood sugar and jet lag can also trigger a migraine.

Emotional triggers:  Stress, depression, shock, anxiety, excitement can trigger a migraine.

Hormonal changes:  When a woman is menstruating, she might experience a migraine.

How one should treat migraines

Physical exercise.

Drinking plenty of water.

Avoiding certain foods.

Avoiding stress.

Sound sleep.


Doctors may administer an injection called botulinum toxic, also known as Botox.


Painkillers should be taken early rather than letting headache to develop.  Over-the-counter medications such as acetaminophen, naproxen, and ibuprofen.  People also take aspirin.

Auras and Migraines:

There are two types of migraines, migraine with aura and migraine without aura.

Migraine with aura:  Aura is a feeling or sensation that comes before a migraine starts in a person.  It is some kind of warning sign.  The effects of aura are as follows:

Seeing sparkling or flashing lights.

Zig-Zag lines in the visual fields.

Pins and needles in an arm or leg.

Difficulty speaking.

Unpleasant smell.

Migraine without aura:

70% to 90% of migraine occur without an aura.  Mostly a person will suffer a migraine without any sensory disturbance.

Other types of migraines:

Migraine with brainstem aura:  Speech is affected.

Abdominal migraine:  There is an irregular function in the abdomen.

Hemiplegic migraine:  Weakness on one side of the body.

Menstrual migraine:  When a person is menstruating, migraine occurs.

Chronic migraine:  If the migraine attacks are over 15 days.

Difference between migraines and headaches:

In general terms, migraine attacks are experienced as a headache of at least moderate severity usually on one side of the head and occurring with other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise (though some people experience migraine without headache).

Some tips for headache relief:

Close your eyes and rest.

Massage your neck and temples.

Warm up your neck.  Try putting a heating pad or a warm cloth around your neck and the base of your skull to ease tension headaches.


Avoid stress.

Watch your diet.


Written by ebu8077


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