All of us suffer from an occasional headache; in fact, 20 million Americans see their doctors each year because of headaches. Headaches are also the leading cause for missing school and work in this country. There are many different types of headaches ranging from just ordinary pain, to pain associated with a disorder or serious medical condition. I’d like to discuss the worst type of headache. The type of headache I’d like to discuss, the Migraine, although intense in its pain, is not associated with a medical condition or injury. The Migraine is a recurring throbbing headache, affecting only one side of the head and often accompanied by many symptoms. Although many people use the word “Migraine” to describe any severe headache, this is not correct. Migraines are a specific headache caused by changes in the blood vessels that supply the brain. Usually, Migraines become less frequent with increasing age and are relatively uncommon after the age of 50. After interviewing my grandmother, who is a special case Migraine sufferer, she told me that her Migraines began when she was seven. Often in school she would have the classic migraine symptoms- she would see only half of her teacher and bright lights and flashes up to 20 minutes before her Migraine began. These symptoms are called auras and once they are gone the Migraine begins. The Migraine itself can lead to vomiting, slurred speech, makes the sufferer sensitive to light and worsens when there is a lot of noise. The mechanism is not completely understood, but many women have their most severe attacks during or just before their menstrual period. This is supposedly due to the hormonal imbalance during that time. So, what can we do to prevent Migraines?
Because Migraine headaches can recur for years and medication may lead to side effects and rebound headaches prevention is the key aspect in the management of migraines. Pay close attention to your diet....
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