Migraine, a very common and specific form of headache, is excruciating for some, affecting their personal and professional lives to a great extent. About 15 percent of the adult population across the world suffers from migraine headaches.
If you have a migraine, you feel a throbbing pain at the front or on one side of your head. Some of you might also experience other symptoms such as nausea and sensitivity to light. There are two types of migraine: classical migraine and common migraine.
Classical migraine -
People with this type of migraine often experience a warning sign before the migraine begins. This warning sign is known as an aura and about a third of the people with migraine experience this. Flashing lights, stiffness in the neck, shoulder or limbs are some other warning signs of migraine.
Common migraine -
There’s no aura before the onset of the migraine.
Interesting Facts -
It’s interesting to note that migraine headaches are more common in women than in men. At least one out of four women has the condition, but in the case of men it’s one in 12. The possible reasons for this difference might be hormones. Some women find that migraine attacks are more frequent around the time of their periods. However, scientists haven’t proven this yet.
Migraines usually begin at a young age. About nine in 10 people have their first migraine attack before they’re 40. Still, it’s also possible to develop it at a later stage in life.
Migraines differ from person to person. Some people have frequent attacks up to several times a week, while some have it very occasionally. It’s also possible for years to pass between migraine attacks for some.
Stages of migraine -
Migraines have five different stages although it isn’t necessary for everyone to experience all of these to have a diagnosis of migraine headaches. The five stages are:
1. Prodromal or Pre-headache stage - During this stage some individuals might experience changes in mood, energy levels, behavior and appetite. Some may also feel body ache hours or days before an attack.
2. Aura - Aura is experienced by some people just before their migraine is about to start. Flashes of light or blind spots, difficulty in focusing and seeing things as if they’re looking through a broken mirror are some of the symptoms of aura. This stage usually lasts for 15 minutes to an hour.
3. Headache - People feel a pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head. Along with the headache they might experience nausea or vomiting and extreme sensitivity to bright light and loud sounds. Also, there’s a strong desire to lie down in a darkened room.
4. Resolution stage - Most attacks gradually fade away and sleep often seems to relieve the symptoms. Some people find the headache stops suddenly after they vomit.
5. Postdromal or Recovery Phase - At this stage the person might feel exhausted and weak after the migraine attack fades.