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Migraine: What it is? Types of Migraine
Migraine is a symptom complex of periodic headaches which are usually unilateral (one-sided) and often associated with nausea, vomiting, increased sensitivity to noise and light. The attack of migraine is usually preceded by constriction (narrowing) of the cranial vessels (blood vessels supplying the brain and skull) and the headache commences with dilatation of these blood vessels. The attacks of migraine tend to be recurrent and the severity of attacks usually decreases as the patient ages.
Migraine is commonly misspelled as migrane, migrain, igraine, migaine, migrine. Migraine is called as Aadhasisi in Hindi and ardhashishi in Marathi.
There are two main types of migraine:
Migraine with Aura (Classic Migraine):
This type of headache is characterized by the neurological phenomenon (aura) that is experienced 10 to 30 minutes before a headache begins. Auras may be experienced as visual disturbances, hallucinations or even temporary loss of vision before a headache. . Some other common expressions of the aura may be in the form of giddiness, vertigo, tingling numbness in various parts of the body, weakness, difficulty in speech, etc. Auras are experienced due to the constriction of the cranial blood vessels prior to the commencement of a migraine.
Migraine without Aura (Common Migraine):
This is a common presentation and here the patient does not experience any aura (neurological phenomena) before a headache. Nausea and vomiting frequently accompany this kind of migraine. General fatigue and lethargy may be experienced before a headache begins.
There are some other types of Migraine which are not so common:
- 01 Basilar
- 02 Ophthalmic
- 03 Ophthalmoplegic
- 04 Retinal
- 05 Status migraine
The exact cause of migraine is not understood in totality. It is caused by a disturbance in the functioning of the nervous system which may be triggered by environmental factors or changes in the body itself. Migraine tends to run in families which shows that genetics has a role to play in the development of migraine.
In many women, migraine tends to recur at some point of their menstrual cycles regularly, either before, during or after the menses. This is known as a menstrual migraine and it is related to the hormonal changes that occur in the body during the menstrual cycle. Menstrual migraines tend to disappear during pregnancy.
There are certain common factors which trigger the onset of migraine in many patients. These are as follows:
- Weather changesHormonal changes before, during and after the menses in women
- Birth control pills
- Inadequate sleep
- Physical or mental stress
- Irregular meals or skipping a meal
- Strong odors
- Certain food articles
- Environmental changes
- Excess of noise or light
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