Just like other forms of primary headache disorders, migraine is not necessarily fatal. However, it can be chronic and disabling if not adequately treated.
According to the Migraine Research Foundation, 90 percent of people with migraine are unable to work or function normally during an attack. In fact, migraine is considered as the second most common cause of lost workdays.
Migraine is more than just a bad headache. It is a neurological disorder that includes a collection of symptoms besides head pain. When you have a migraine attack, it is almost impossible for you to do anything more than just lie on your bed until the symptoms subside.
The presentation of migraine can vary from person to person. However, if you are experiencing the following symptoms, there is a high chance that what you have is migraine.
Some people may also experience migraine with aura – visual disturbances that consist of bright spots, flashing lights, or moving lines. In some cases, auras cause a temporary loss of vision. These visual disturbances occur about 30 minutes before the migraine begins and can last for 15 minutes.
Most migraine attacks last about 4 hours; however, they can last for three days up to a week if they’re not treated or don’t respond to treatment.
The causes of migraine are not clear, but experts believe that the condition is due to “abnormal” brain activity that affects nerve signaling and chemicals and blood vessels in the brain. It is also believed that migraine has a hereditary link as it often runs in the family. This means that you are more likely to experience migraine if someone in your family is diagnosed with it.
Certain external factors can also trigger a migraine attack. These triggers include:
There is no specific blood test or scans that can tell your doctor whether your head pain is due to migraine. The only way to diagnose a migraine is to piece together the information about your symptoms and identify patterns over time.
Aside from the specifics of your symptoms, your doctor will need to get information about your response to current and previous treatments, your family history, and how your head pain affects your daily functioning and quality of life. A thorough assessment will also include a general medical and neurological physical exam.
There is no absolute cure for migraine because the disease is still not fully understood, but treatments are available to effectively manage the condition.
Your treatment plan may include a combination of:
Remember that the right treatment for you will depend on different factors such as the type of your migraine, your symptoms, frequency, and severity of the attacks. It will also depend on your medical history. Therefore, it is necessary that you seek the advice of your doctor for the right treatment plan.
Aside from the tips mentioned above, you can also do few things at home to help relieve your symptoms and/or avoid further aggravation of it.
If you have been diagnosed with migraine, following the tips below, from healthline.com, can help you prevent a future migraine attack.