If you regularly feel a severe headache, which is accompanied by photophobia, nausea and even vomiting, you may have a migraine. This is one of the most common and severe types of headaches. Why does it arise and what to do about it?
What is a migraine and why does it occur
A distinctive feature of migraine – a clear localization. The pain is concentrated in one of the temples, in the half of the forehead, in the eye socket, it can give to the jaw and neck. Attacks can last up to 2-3 days, repeated every week or happen once a year.
Well-known in Moscow neurologist, manual therapist of HE CLINIK, Mikhail Korovkin highlights signs of headaches, causes, as well as 7 types of pain, for which you need to immediately contact a specialist. We will not repeat them here, just watch a short video where a doctor with 30 years of experience puts everything on the shelves.
Migraine is associated with a mechanism in the deep layers of the brain that releases inflammatory substances around the blood vessels and nerves, and they cause pain. The causes of the disease are not always clear, we can identify the factors that trigger this mechanism. The doctor Mikhail Korovkin tells about this in the informational video.
Do not treat headaches carelessly. Migraine is quite insidious: WHO attributes it to the risk factors for cerebral strokes (in pregnant women it rises 16 times!). Unfortunately, only half of migraine sufferers come to the doctors, and in this case the help of a specialist is simply necessary.
The seriousness of the disease is confirmed by the fact that WHO put it on the 6th place in the study “Global burden of diseases, injuries and risk factors” – it was calculated how many years a person loses in various diseases. For example, if the attacks happen 2 times a month, the person actually loses 2 years of active life.
It is believed that the predisposition to migraine can be transmitted genetically.
Who is at risk?
Most often, seizures begin after puberty and continue until the age of 65, and the peak of the disease, according to WHO research, is between 35-45 years. Most of the patients are women, every fifth inhabitant of the planet suffers from migraine (in the Far East this figure is reduced, why, it is still unknown). Men are more resistant to the disease – only 6% are susceptible to the disease.
Children also suffer from it, but most often it is abdominal (manifested by abdominal pain, which can last up to 72 hours) or retinal (with visual impairment, with symptoms between attacks), may manifest as short-term dizziness. The head does not always hurt, so the parents do not even assume that you need to contact a neurologist. But in the future, the disease can develop into full-fledged attacks. Therefore, if the child regularly becomes ill, you need to undergo a full examination.
When is it time to see a doctor
In addition to specific pain, migraine is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, photophobia, increased sensitivity to noise and odors, chills. At the slightest physical activity during a seizure, the condition worsens, but the torture ends with complete exhaustion.
Professional diagnostics
Migraine is diagnosed only if there are no other diseases that can cause headache. Therefore, a complete examination is necessary – doppler sonography of brain vessels, MRI, CT.
Be sure to measure blood pressure. In some cases, you may need a blood test for hormone levels, since the hormonal imbalance can be the impetus for the development of the disease.
How to prevent an attack
The most important and difficult stage in the treatment of headache is a thorough study of the patient’s life. The fact that drugs only facilitate the course of the attack. Avoid exacerbation of the disease is possible only by identifying and eliminating the factors that lead to them.
During the month, the patient keeps a diary in which he records all the attacks and what preceded them. He notes how often they occur, how long they last. Most often, ailments arise from stress and overwork, in women exacerbations occur during a certain period of the menstrual cycle. The reaction may be caused by a change in the weather, hunger, overeating, the use of alcohol or certain foods, stuffiness, tobacco smoke. Some patients associate the occurrence of an attack with a change in the daily regimen, and not only lack of sleep, but also, on the contrary, excess sleep can be dangerous.
Drug therapy
Very often, exacerbation of migraine occurs on the nerves of the soil. Any controversial situation or the slightest conflict is enough for an attack to begin. In this case, mild sedatives are prescribed. They are usually taken a course, after that – only in a provoking situation. Also, long-term courses prescribe medications that strengthen the blood vessels of the brain, improving their nutrition.
For relief during an attack, painkillers and vasoconstrictor drugs are used. If a migraine is accompanied by vomiting, antiemetics are prescribed. Drug therapy is selected individually. Most drugs are addictive, so if the seizures recur often, the treatment requires constant correction. In no case can you increase the dosage yourself or start taking a new medicine without consulting your doctor!
Take painkillers is necessary at the first sign of approaching an attack. It is especially important to remember those who have the precursors of the disease, or “aura”. It occurs some time before the onset of pain, a person may feel weakness, drowsiness, irritability, flies or flashes of light may appear before his eyes, many have his ears covered.
In case of a sudden onset of an attack, the medicine should also be drunk as soon as possible. Just endure the pain of migraine will not work. It will only increase, and 20 minutes after the start, the effect of the anesthetic and vasoconstrictor drugs will be much worse.
How can we help ourselves
Migraine in many passes in a dream. If after taking the painkiller there is an opportunity to fall asleep on your own, this is very good. If not, you can take a sedative. In any case, during an exacerbation of a headache, it is best to lie down in a dark, cool room, preferably in complete silence.
With severe nausea, if there is no antiemetic medication, it is possible to induce vomiting. This will ease the condition.
In no case can not drink coffee or tea during the attack. They have a vasodilating effect that only aggravates the situation.
Massage, swimming, exercises on the spine and neck and other physiotherapeutic methods help to improve the condition. But the most important thing in the prevention and treatment of headaches is attention to yourself. If you avoid factors that provoke attacks, the disease will return less and less, exacerbations will be short and less painful. But, of course, it is better to consult a doctor and get tested, in order to correctly diagnose the causes, you cannot self-medicate without a precise definition of the diagnosis.