Migraine is part of the large family of headaches (headaches) among which tension headaches (caused by nervous tension, anxiety, fatigue) and migraines. Tension headaches are said to be primary or secondary to pathology(cold, sinusitis for example). Migraines are crises that appear gradually and are preceded or not by warning signs that are grouped under the name of aura.
To differentiate between the 2:
- Migraine is unique in its duration, intensity and pain, which is generally felt on one side of the head or located near the eye. The pain is perceived as pulsations in the cranial box and it is aggravated by the light and the noise (and sometimes the smells). Migraine can also be accompanied by nausea and vomiting and only isolation in the dark can bring a lull.
- Tension headaches are headaches that result in a tight feeling on the forehead and temples and cause discomfort that is not a nuisance as it does not cause nausea or vomiting.
Migraine affects 7 million people and women are 3 times more affected than men. It is therefore one of the most common neurological pathologies, a source of very important functional handicap with a degradation of life of the patients and especially of the high indirect costs.
Migraine: what are the symptoms?
Why do some people have headaches, tension headaches or migraines and why others have none, even if they are exposed to the same environment? This is the great mystery!
For a long time it was established that migraines were due to vascular changes with vasoconstriction, then vasodilatation of the cerebral vessels causing the pain felt. However, the physiopathological causes of migraine are much more complex and linked to a cascade of reactions in the nervous system leading to inflammation of the neurons and dilation of the cerebral vessels with a number of mediators and substances pro inflammatory involved very important.
The main symptoms of migraine are as follows (they can last from 4 to 72 hours):
- An intense headache that settles gradually (not brutal) and more durable than ordinary headaches.
- Localized pain, often concentrated on one side of the head.
- A throbbing pain, throbbing and pulsation (sensation of feeling your heart beat in your head!): Pulsating pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Blurred vision (blurred vision, black spots in the field of vision).
- A feeling of cold or intense sweats.
- Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia), noise and sometimes odors, which forces you to isolate yourself in a quiet, dark room.
There are also precursory signs that precede the headache from a few hours to 2 days, the most common are:
- Compulsive cravings,
- Stiffness of the neck,
- A psychological sensitivity,
- Increased sensitivity to noise, light and odors.
Treatments in case of crisis
There is no cure for migraine. Seizures should be treated at Migraine specialist treatment doctor with proper medicine when they occur. All medications, whatever they are, will be more effective in relieving the pain if they are used as soon as the precursors of the migraine appear, or at the beginning of the headache if there are no signs precursors.