Migraine (माइग्रेन) is a genetically influenced complex neurological disorder characterized by episodes of moderate-to-severe headache, most often unilateral and generally associated with nausea and light and sound sensitivity. Other characterizing symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, cognitive dysfunction, allodynia, and dizziness. Exacerbation of headache symptoms during physical activity is another distinguishing feature. Up to one-third of migraine sufferers experience aura: a premonitory period of sensory disturbance widely accepted to be caused by cortical spreading depression at the onset of a migraine attack. Although primarily considered to be a headache disorder, migraine is highly heterogeneous in its clinical presentation and is better thought of as a spectrum disease rather than a distinct clinical entity. Globally, approximately 15% of people are affected by migraine. In the Global Burden of Disease Study, conducted in 2010, migraines ranked as the third-most prevalent disorder in the world.
The term “migraine” refers to a specific type of headache characterized by intense throbbing or pulsing pain, often on one side of the head. Migraines are typically accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. They can be debilitating and may last for hours to days. The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but they are believed to involve changes in the brain and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, which is a major pain pathway.
Types of Migraine
There are several types of migraines, and they are generally classified based on the presence or absence of aura (neurological symptoms that occur before or during the headache). The two main types of migraines are:
Migraine without Aura (Common Migraine)
- This is the more common type of migraine.
- It is characterized by a moderate to severe throbbing headache, often on one side of the head.
- Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light (photophobia), and sensitivity to sound (phonophobia).
- Migraine attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to several days.
Migraine with Aura (Classic Migraine)
- This type of migraine is characterized by neurological symptoms known as aura, which typically precede or accompany the headache.
- Aura symptoms can include visual disturbances (flashing lights, zigzag lines), sensory changes (tingling or numbness), and, less commonly, speech or language problems.
- The headache that follows the aura is similar to the one experienced in migraine without aura.
- Not everyone with migraines experiences an aura.
In addition to these main types, there are also subtypes and specific conditions related to migraines, such as:
Chronic migraine is diagnosed when a person experiences migraines on 15 or more days per month, with at least eight of those days involving migraines with or without aura.
Some women experience migraines that are closely linked to their menstrual cycle, often occurring in the days before, during, or after menstruation.
Vestibular migraines are characterized by dizziness and problems with balance, often without a severe headache.
A rare type of migraine that involves temporary vision loss or blindness in one eye.
It’s important to note that migraine symptoms can vary widely among individuals, and the classification helps healthcare professionals understand the different presentations of the condition. If you suspect you have migraines or are experiencing severe headaches, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate management.
Alternate therapies for Migraine
Ayurveda treatment for Migraine
In conclusion, migraines are complex and often debilitating headaches that can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. While the exact causes remain not fully understood, various factors such as genetic predisposition, environmental triggers, and neurological changes contribute to their onset. Managing migraines involves a multifaceted approach, including lifestyle modifications, identifying and avoiding triggers, acute treatments for relief during attacks, and, in some cases, preventive medications. Additionally, alternative and complementary therapies, such as acupuncture, herbal remedies, and relaxation techniques, may offer relief for some individuals. Those experiencing migraines must seek professional medical guidance for an accurate diagnosis and personalized treatment plan, as effective management often requires a combination of strategies tailored to individual needs and circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions