A MIGRAINE IS NOT JUST A HEADACHE
A headache is just one of the possible symptoms of a migraine attack. Migraine is a prevalent and complex inherited neurological disorder of sensory processing. People with migraines have a genetic code variation that makes the networks in their brains hyper-excitable. That means the brain networks can react abnormally to things like diet, light, hormonal changes, noise and smells.
Migraine attacks are flare-ups or episodes which involve a combination of neurological symptoms like severe headache, nausea or vomiting and, in some cases, dizziness, numbness, weakness and vision problems. Migraines often start on one side of the head or behind an eye. They can last a few hours or over a week.
WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINES?
Studies show that changes in brain activity and chemicals released into the brain contribute to the onset of migraine. These changes cause swelling of blood vessels in the scalp and tissues around the brain, which means more blood pumps through the brain.
WHAT ARE MIGRAINE TRIGGERS?
Triggers are the things in our life that bring on a migraine. They can include things like alcohol (especially red wine), cheeses, chemicals (in perfume and petrol), chocolate, coffee, emotions (excitement, fatigue and stress), exercise, flickering lights, glare, heat, hunger, hormonal changes (periods, hormone pills and menopause) noise, nuts and relaxation.
WHAT ARE MIGRAINE SYMPTOMS?
You will recognise a migraine by the throbbing, pulsing pain that worsens with movement and everyday activities. Many migraine sufferers are light and noise sensitive. Some people experience blurred vision or flashing lights or numbness and tingling. Some people have terrible nausea before the migraine starts and some vomit.
WHAT HELPS RELIEVE THE PAIN
Most people with migraines head straight to a dark, quiet, cool room to lie down and sleep it off. Sometimes the pain is too severe to sleep, but it provides welcome relief when it is possible. Sometimes just placing a cool cloth on your forehead can offer a little comfort to a pulsating and throbbing head. Avoid orange juice, tea and coffee. Meditation and relaxing music can also help.