Persistent Headache or Migraine; Causes and Treatment

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Headache can be so disturbing when it starts that one will wish the head is cut off. Have ever experience something like that? If you have ever had persistent headache that refuse to go even after the first aid treatment, them it might be migraine.

Migraine was discovered many years ago and derived from the word HEMICRANIA, Which means half of the skull. Migraine is a condition of recurrent headache with high intensity mostly at one side of the head.

12 Interesting facts about Migraine

  1. It is accompanied by gastrointestinal disturbance leading to an aural of vomiting.
  2. It can cause visual disturbance.
  3. It occurs more in women than men.
  4. It affects about 10% of the population.
  5. It is also hereditary.
  6. Migraine is preventable.
  7. Migraine is also related to the use of contraceptives.
  8. It can lead to death if not properly managed.
  9. In ladies, it starts in puberty and tends to stop in middle age, frequently disappears during pregnancy and in women, attacks may also occur during menopause.
  10. Certain foods can trigger migraine headache, they include chocolates, cheese, citrus fruits, pastries and alcohol.
  11. Also prolong lack of food could trigger migraine.
  12. Some drugs can produce migraine as side effects.

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Causes

  • Anxiety
  • Emotion
  • Depression
  • Shock
  • Excitement
  • Physical stress
  • Mental fatique
  • Prolonged focusing on the computer, television or cinema screens.
  • Noise especially from loud music speakers.
  • Menstruation and pre-menstrual period

Note: Anything that can provoke a headache in the ordinary individual can probably precipitate an attack in a migranous subject.

Migraine occur systemically as all these agents cause spasm and constriction of the blood vessel and this in turn leads to dilatation of these blood vessels which also become more permeable and so allow fluid to pass out into the surrounding tissue. The combination of dilatation and outpouring of fluid is held responsible for the headache.

 Types of migraine

  • Classical
  • Common

Classical migraine is relatively rare and the headache is preceded by a slowly extending area of blindness in one or both eyes, usually accompanied by intermittent ‘light’. The phenomenon lasts for up to 30 minutes and is followed by a very bad, often unilateral headache with nausea, sometimes vomiting and sensitivity to light. Occasionally, passing neurologically symptoms such as weakness in the limb may accompany the attack.

Common migraine has similar but less severe symptoms. It consists of intense headache usually situated over one or other eye. The headache is usually preceded by feeling of sickness and disturbance of sight. In 15-20 per cent of cases takes the form of bright lights: the so- called AURA of migraine. The majority of attacks are accompanied by vomiting. The duration of headache varies but in more severe cases the patient is confined to the bed for 24hours.

Treatment

The first thing you need to do is to identify and avoid the triggers of migraines, though this might be difficult considering the number of factors responsible, but when attack starts the first things to do is to rest in the bed in a quiet, darkened room is essential; any loud or bright light intensifies the headache or sickness. The less food that is taken during an attack the better provided that the individual drinks as much fluids as he or she wants.

Medical intervention is also done by your doctor or pharmacist who will prescribed the best analgesics such as PARACETAMOL, IBUPROFEN, ASPIRIN OR CODEINE. A combination of buclizine hydrochloride and analgesic is taken when the visual aura occurs, prevents or diminishes the severity of an attack in some people. METOCLOPRAMIDE   is also prescribed in vomiting. Other agents will be prescribed if condition persists.

REFERENCE

  1. Migraine,

Blacks Medical Dictionary

41st Edition

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