Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder with episodic manifestations due to hyperexcitability of the nervous system. This means that you periodically experience attacks of a headache and or other manifestations due to the chronic hyperexcitability, or over-sensitivity of your nervous system. A migraine is known only for its most frequent manifestation that is episodes of a headache.

What is Migraine ?

Headache episodes are terribly painful and often disabling is not only due to a headache itself but also other associated manifestations of a migraine. A migraine is frequently dismissed as a headache and migraineurs are told to take a pain killer pill and get over it. The treatment of a headache alone is not sufficient for most of the migraine sufferers. . It has become apparent in recent years that many patients suffer symptoms from a migraine that do not have severe headaches as a dominant symptom. These patients may have a primary complaint of dizziness, of ear pain, of ear or heedfulness, “sinus” pressure, and even fluctuating hearing loss. Fortunately, treatment regimens long established for the treatment of “classic” migraine headaches are generally effective against these “atypical” symptoms of a migraine There are various other associated manifestations that separate a migraine from other headaches.

Migraine pain is most often described as throbbing, pulsating or bursting type pain. Many can feel like one’s head is literally about to explode. Some people have a sharp stabbing or burning pain. And more commonly people have some combination of these types of pain. More than two third people with a migraine have pain on only on one side to start with and but many have it on both sides. Those with pain throughout the head can also have more intense pain on one side than the other. The pain can be located anywhere on the head, including in the eyes, sinuses, roof of mouth, ears or face. Migraine pain worsens with movement of body and head. Rolling over in bed can be excruciating. Some people find difficult to get up to get medication or water or to go to the bathroom because walking is too painful.

Nausea with or without vomiting is a symptom seen in about 70 to 75% of people with a migraine. Sometimes nausea and vomiting can occur without head pain. Vomiting enhances the agony of the patient by the head movement which can worsen the pain. Nausea even without vomiting is quite disturbing symptom in migraine. People with a chronic migraine can lose unhealthy amounts of weight because they are too nauseated to eat.

Patients experience intolerance to various common stimuli present in the atmosphere. Lights are too bright, sounds are too loud, odors are too strong and touch is irritating during a migraine attack. There are various other less known symptom of migraine for examples vertigo, difficulty finding words, numbness or tingling in the face or extremities, partial paralysis, frequent urination, brain fog, changes in heart rate and blood pressure. These symptoms sometimes make the diagnosis difficult.

A typical migraine attack usually lasts between 4 and 72 hours even if no specific treatment is received by the patient. The patient gets relief after vomiting or a nap of sleep. Children with migraine can have attacks of shorter than 4 hrs.  The excruciating pain part is only one of four migraine stages. Even after a headache subsides the person often feel some symptoms like tiredness, difficulty concentrating, weakness, dizziness, lightheadedness, decreased energy, head pain, skin and scalp sensitivity, and mood change which happens after the worst of the symptoms pass, also includes a headache and can last for days.

With time, some migraine sufferers experience more frequent than not headache episodes. This transformation from episodic to chronic form is seen among people who are taking pain medication very frequently. The condition is named as a chronic migraine that’s almost daily headache, one migraine attack runs into another, with no complete respite between attacks.

During a migraine attack, 9 out of 10 people can’t function normally and 5 experience severe limitations to work or the need for bed rest. Patient with a migraine are prone to develop other disorders like anxiety, depression Even between migraine attacks, a patient isn’t necessarily symptom-free and may experience anxiety about when their next migraine will occur and how severe it will be. Those with a chronic migraine may not return to normal neurological function between migraine attacks The World Health Organization has found that a migraine is on the most disabling neurological illness by far and it ranks in the top 20 most disabling medical conditions worldwide

Partly because a migraine is perceived as “just a headache,” people with a migraine face a huge stigma in addition to having disabling symptoms. According to a study published recently found a migraine to be as stigmatized as epilepsy and people with a migraine reported more difficulty working than those with epilepsy. Researchers also found that people with a chronic migraine face a greater stigma than those with epilepsy or an episodic migraine.

Hopefully, you now have an idea on what is Migraine, and how it can affect you and what are its symptoms. If you have any questions you can leave them in the comment section down bellow. This article was written by Dr. Yashpal Singh, You can contact him in comments down bellow our via email.

Dr. YASHPAL SINGH

PROFESSOR OF NEUROLOGY

DEPARTMENT OF NEUROLOGY

HIMALAYAN INSTITUTE OF MEDICAL SCIENCES

DEHRADUN