What is Migraine & How can I stop it?

For most people migraine is a great deal more than just a headache. It can be a debilitating condition which has a huge impact on the quality of life of sufferers and their families.

If you have two or more of the following symptoms during an attack it is probable that you are suffering from migraine:

  • Neurological disturbances: most commonly distorted vision such as blind spots, flashing lights or zig zag patterns but can also be lack of co-ordination, slurred speech, inability to concentrate, feelings of disorientation, numbness or pins and needles in the limbs . These symptoms, known as an aura are most often identified with migraine but in fact only about 10-15% of sufferers experience them. Migraine with aura is often called classical migraine.
  • Intense throbbing headache, often on one side of the head only.
  • Nausea and/or vomiting and/or diarrhoea.
  • Increased sensitivity to light (photophobia)
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds (phonophobia)
  • Increased sensitivity to smells (osmophobia)

You may also experience stiffness of the neck and shoulders, tingling or stiffness in the limbs, an inability to concentrate, difficult in speaking, or in rare cases paralysis or loss of consciousness.

A general rule of thumb is that if a headache and/or other associated symptoms prevents you from continuing with normal daily activities it could be a migraine.

Migraine attacks normally last between 4 and 72 hours and sufferers are usually quite well between attacks.

 

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