As compared to headaches, migraine is traced back to belonging to the category of neurological diseases and is genetic. The attacks that are caused by migraines are different from the usual headaches one experiences. In the United States around 37 million people are suffering from migraine. When it is narrowed down to gender statistics, The World Health Organization states that only seven percent of men and as high as eighteen percent of women suffer from migraine. The headaches one experiences during a migraine attack is known as a primary headache and it can occur on either side of the brain and at times it can occur all over the brain. These headaches are not caused by any head injury or brain tumour as people might think but the person who suffers from such headaches is unable to do anything because of the severity of the headache.
People usually seek solace in quiet places which are preferably dark. When we look at the duration of such an attack then it can range from a few hours to a few days. What we are looking at is a headache that builds up over time and then once it has struck, the time it takes to subside post the headache can take days. One wonders about the reason why such a headache would occur but it is difficult to narrow down the reason. It is shown to be caused by the hyperactivity that occurs in the brain as depicted in brain scans and the biochemical makeup of the brain of a migraine patient is different from those who do not suffer from migraine.
Migraine sufferers have experienced witnessing bright spots or flashes while some patients have aura experience where it can cause a change in one’s vision. Being a genetic disease, it is found to be passed down the generations and women are likely to suffer from it more in comparison to men. Familial Hemiplegic Migraine is one of the syndromes that have been genetically proven to cause migraine. For a diagnosis to be given, the doctor removes the possibility of all other disorders that can cause headaches.
There are two categories of migraines according to the International Headache Society- Migraine that occur with aura, where before the onset of migraine the patient sees lights, blurry lines or spots along with other symptoms and the second form of migraine is one that occurs without aura and is accompanied by any two or more of the symptoms- vomiting, light sensitivity, nausea, sound sensitivity or smell sensitivity. There are numerous symptoms but the most frequent symptoms are – patient can experience aura, or nausea, there can be a throbbing pain, or vomiting, pain on either side of the head, or changes in vision or blurred vision, a sensitivity towards light or sensitivity towards sound.
Apart from these symptoms that mainly occur, there are other symptoms that should not be ignored- patient can experience spells of dizziness, or weakness, there can be changes in vision or cloudy vision, possibility of stiffness of the neck or sensitivity towards smell.