Migraines are typically associated with some physical change in the brain. If you have a migraine, there is usually sensitivity to light, sounds and smells. In addition, you may also experience nausea and vomiting. The headache of a migraine often only involves one side of the brain and includes throbbing or pounding pain.
The specific cause of migraines is not known. However, there is some evidence that it may involve the brain's neurotransmitters. There may also be a hereditary component since most sufferers also have family members who suffer from migraines.
Migraines are usually diagnosed by their length – 4 to 72 hours, occurring on one side of the head, have a pounding quality, moderate to severe pain and the need to avoid physical activity. You may also have nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and sound.
Migraines are typically triggered. Some triggers include various foods, stress, hormonal cycles, sweeteners or dairy products. Studies have found that more women than men suffer from migraines.
Treatment usually depends on the frequency and how long the migraine lasts. Over-the-counter medications may be effective for some, but others will require prescription medications. The sufferer can also aid their treatment by keeping a diary of frequency and potential triggers. Using that information, lifestyle changes can be made.
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