Migraines are a type of headache that can cause severe pain, typically on one side of the head. The pain is often accompanied by other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, sound, and smells; nausea; and vomiting. Migraines can last for several hours or even days, and they can be debilitating for those who experience them.
The exact cause of migraines is not fully understood, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brain and its nerves (brainstem and the trigeminal nerve), which are involved in the sensation of pain. These changes can cause the blood vessels in the brain to narrow or expand, which can lead to the symptoms of a migraine.
There is no specific test for migraines, so they are usually diagnosed based on a person’s symptoms and medical history. A doctor will ask about the frequency, duration, and severity of the headaches, as well as any other symptoms the person is experiencing.
There is no cure for migraines, but there are several treatments that can help to reduce the severity and frequency of the headaches. These include over-the-counter pain relievers, such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen, as well as prescription medications that are specifically designed to treat migraines.
In some cases, preventive treatments may be recommended to help reduce the number of migraines a person experiences. These can include medications, such as beta blockers or anti-seizure drugs, as well as lifestyle changes, such as getting regular exercise, avoiding triggers, and managing stress.
If a person experiences severe or frequent migraines, their doctor may refer them to a specialist, such as a neurologist or headache specialist, for further evaluation and treatment.
In summary, migraines are a type of headache that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. The exact cause is not fully understood, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brain and blood vessels. There is no specific test for migraines, so they are diagnosed based on a person’s symptoms and medical history. There is no cure, but there are several treatments that can help to reduce the severity and frequency of the headaches, as well as preventative treatments that may be recommended in some cases.
To discuss diagnosis and treatment options, please book an appointment with our specialist.
To learn more about migraine, please click on https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/migraine/
Dr Ibrahim Yahli MD MRCPsych