Dealing With Chronic Migraines Is Not Easy. Things You Should Know About Migraine.


What are Common Neurological Diseases?

Central nervous system consists of brain and spinal cord. Its main function is to control different physiological functions of mind and body. The coordination or conduction of nerve impulses from and towards central nervous system to different parts of the body is done by bundles or network of nerves that radiate all across the body. Brain is one of the most complex organ that is made up of more than 100 billion nerve cells that work to control different voluntary and involuntary actions within the body. Anatomically brain is dividend into three main parts. They are called cerebrum, cerebellum and brain stem. The cerebrum is the largest part of brain which is divided into left and right hemispheres. Both the hemispheres are formed of lobes, each lobe is responsible for specific functions. Frontal lobe is responsible for making rational judgement, decisions apart from motor skills. The parietal lobe controls sensation and  change in body position. Temporal lobe is involved with memory and hearing skills. The occipital lobe functions to control brains visual processing unit. Voluntary functions are controlled by outer layer of brain called the cortex. Cerebellum, located on the posterior part of brain functions to coordinate movements and balance postures. Brain stem is located between spinal cord and rest   part of brain. Breathing and sleep are controlled by brain stem. Brain is protected within the skull beneath which lies a layer of tissues called meninges. This protects brain from traumas or injuries. 

Although each part of brain is structured, assembled to perform definate functions, any injury, diseased condition or degenerative pathological state, damage brain functions causing a wide range of symptoms. Cerebrospinal fluid circulates in different areas of brain and acts like a cushion between skull and brain. The internal carotid arteries supply oxygenated blood on the anterior part of brain while vertebral arteries supply blood to the posterior part of brain. Adequate blood supply to every distant part of brain is of prime importance. A decrease in blood supply leads to hypoxia caused due to few diseased conditions. The metabolism of brain is under is normally occurs through blood glucose which acts as the prime energy source. An imbalance in this homeostasis cause brain dysfunction. Cognitive skills, loss of memory, pain, loss of different sensations, motor skills all are affected in different diseased conditions of brain. 

When brain gets diseased from an injury, infections, environmental and lifestyle changes it produces a clinical pathological diseased condition. Headaches, epilepsy, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, cerebral palsy and multiple sclerosis are common neurological disorders of brain.

What are Different Types Of Headaches?

Headaches occur when nerves in blood vessels and head muscles send pain signals to brain. The contemporary modern world in present times has forced every individual to struggle for basic amenities of life. Every human being strives hard each day to maintain standard of living according to his capabilities. In this continuous battle, a competitive pursuit to gain a luxurious, extravagant life style, many people suffer from stress that cause headaches and often fall a prey to multiple diseased conditions. 

Headaches are common in people of all age groups. Headaches are common in children during puberty. It is often caused from stressful activities at school, college or is an associated symptom from any diseased condition. There are about one hundred and fifty types of headaches. The cause of pain in head may or may not be related to any pathology. Tension headaches are common in teenagers and adults. Migraine headaches are common in children and adults. They cause a wide range of symptoms that need medical attention and treatment. Chronic migraine headaches are felt from lack of prompt treatment or persistent exposure to maintaining cause that may frequently produce recurrent episodes of an attack. Cluster headaches, sinus headaches from an infection and post traumatic headaches after an injury are commonly found routine outpatient clinic. Spinal headaches, rebound headaches, headaches from hormonal imbalance while a patient is taking hormone replacement therapy or before periods in young females are called as menstrual migraines. The headaches are differentiated through the characteristic symptoms each of the above types present, or through a pattern that they follow. Patients with chronic persistent symptoms seek medical advice to get relief from headaches. Patients having cough and cold, fever, infections both viral and bacterial suffer from headaches. Sinusitis, throat infection and ear infections cause headaches. Depression, disturbed sleep, sudden change in routine life style, alcohol consumption, skipping meals, strain on back or neck from incorrect postures and taking unnecessary medication can cause frequent episodes of headaches. Patients are often allergic to perfumes, chemicals, tobacco smoke, certain foods, pollution and weather changes that trigger headaches. Migraine is felt by the patients who have a genetic predisposition which is a disease that runs in family. 

What Is Migraine?

Migraine is one of the most common type of headache experienced by many people all across the world. Epidemiological survey revealed that about one billion people world wide suffer from this neurological disorder. Patients express as having a sudden rush of blood on head with intense throbbing associated pain usually on one side of head with certain other symptoms. The pain lasts for hours and if not controlled by medication it may take days before the patient recovers from symptoms. 

The true, specific cause of migraine is still not known. However, it is believed that patient is susceptible, having a genetic disposition that is responsible for causing this disorder. Patients who have a family history of migraine concludes a belief that it runs in generations. It is a neurovascular headache as the dilatation of blood vessels from a neural dysfunction further enhance nerve activation that aggravate pain causing a throbbing, pulsating sensation. Certain kind of cerebrovascular changes in brain trigger nerves that may produce neural changes to an extent that it causes severe unilateral headache. Studies have proved that any structural or functional, biochemical changes in brain with an inflammation of blood vessels that compress nerves cause recurrent episodes of migraine. 

Research has also proved that when serotonin or oestrogen levels change, it produces excitability of nerve cells. When oestrogen levels rise and fall abruptly, it causes contractions of blood vessels which make facial and scalp nerves sensitive to pain. The fluctuations in oestrogen hormones explains why female are more susceptible to inherit migraine. Hormonal medication in the form of oral contraceptives also trigger an attack of migraine. The basic causes of migraine are genetic, environmental and unhealthy lifestyle modifications where patients are unable to adapt to changes. 

Migraine headaches are often triggered by certain factors like dehydration, dieting, hormonal changes during menstrual cycle, females under hormone replacement therapy, stress at work or home with lack of reduced physical activity, disturbed sleep and upper respiratory tract infections. 

How Are Migraine Headaches Classified?

Migraine is classified into classic and common migraines. The classification is based on the symptoms noticed in each type.  

CLASSIC MIGRAINE start with an aura, a distinct change felt by the patient. The intense throbbing pain felt on one side of head is followed by visual distraction. Colors, flashlights, patterns if light, shadows seem to appear around eyes during an episode of migraine. Patient may lose vision for temporary period. Such auras last for fifteen to thirty minutes. A burning sensation with extreme prostration is often felt by patient along with persistent throbbing headaches. Patients feel depressed, irritable and restless during frequent attacks of migraine. The pain in classic migraine is localized to side of head or radiate to both sides near the occiput. 

COMMON MIGRAINES are headaches without an aura. These pulsating, throbbing pains start gradually, affect any one side of head, last for longer period of time and disturb normal routine activities. 

MIGRAINE WITHOUT HEAD PAIN, also termed as silent migraines where patients feel other symptoms but without pain. The typical migraine pain around the temples and eyes may not be felt but recurrent episodes of headaches with increased sensitivity to light and sound, restlessness and fatigue are few symptoms  experienced by patients. 

HEMIPLEGIC MIGRAINE makes a patient weak, with signs of stroke. Weakness is persistent for hours to days mainly on face, arm or legs with headaches. 

RETINAL MIGRAINES are headaches with diminished vision. The visual changes or even loss of vision at times, accompanied with typical migraine headaches.  

What Are The Symptoms From Migraine Headache?

Intense throbbing or dull aching pain in head on one or both sides of head is the most agonizing  symptom of migraine. 

Any physical activity aggravates pain with nausea and vomiting. 

Patients feel hypersensitive to light, noise with blurred vision. 

A sense of weakness, fatigue is felt by the patient. Mood swings are observed in patients with a pain of migraine. They also feel stiffness around the neck with tender scalp and perspiration. Patients with acute headaches have no desire to focus on work. Sleep is also difficult as the pain is very severe to an extent that slight movement of head or any change in posture may aggravate intense throbbing, pulsating pain on head even at rest. 

Chronic migraine has these symptoms at frequent intervals.  Patients consult doctors as migraine causes extreme, profound complex symptoms that can be treated only through medication. 

How is Migraine Headache Diagnosed?

A detailed case history of patient  is recorded by the consulting physician. An MRI or CT scan, electroencephlalogram  and blood tests helps to confirm the diagnosis. Once it is confirmed that it is a migraine headache, treatment is decided. Patients are given medication or advised for supportive alternative therapies that treat symptoms of migraine. 

What Is the Treatment For Migraine?

A specific treatment in the form of two sets of medication is prescribed by the physician. In the first step which is an abortive method that stops headache to become more severe thereby reducing its intensity. These medicines should be taken immediately during an acute phase that helps to control pain and other symptoms. The other form of medication include prophylactic that prevent future attacks of migraine.  The medicines commonly used are aspirin, ibuprofen, naproxen, ketoprofen and acetaminophen.  Strong medication that induce sleep in patients are prescribed to patients when headaches are severe.  

A patient gets symptomatic relief from migraine after ingestion of medicines prescribed by the physician. 

Patients adopt different alternative measures to avoid frequent intake of medicines. Massage on scalp, putting pressure on temples relieves headache. Yoga, breathing exercises, meditation, acupressure and relaxation techniques as advised by s healthcare professional relieves symptoms of migraine. 

Patients can avoid the recurrent episodes of migraine by following a definate healthy routine activities. A well balanced healthy meal, sound sleep, regular exercise following a definate regime by avoiding stressful activities can prevent future attacks of migraine. 

Migraine headaches are difficult to cure. There may be no headaches for months or even years at times, when patients are partially healed either through medication or life style modification from symptoms caused by migraine. It may trigger suddenly after months or years from exposure to stress or environmental changes. Patients should be aware of these complications, different obstacles that may lead to headaches. A remedial solution  to prevent or treat an episode of migraine should be handy to get relief from headache. 

The present era is affected and burdened with several unknown risks, people are vulnerable, more sensitive to infections, neurological disorders and many degenerative diseases that affect vital organs. Management of health is crucial to prevent diseases that harm brain and all organ systems in the body. Migraine is one such disorder that requires skillful management before development major neurological symptoms. If patient has a metabolic syndrome like hypertension, diabetes mellitus or any other deep rooted pathology, then the foremost, primary aim of the physician is to control, manage these diseases. Later, a treatment protocol can be planned if the history of patient is complex, with multiple set of complaints. A systematic guideline to deal with every factor that causes migraine should be identified, listed, following a method to avoid exposure to these triggering agents. A prescription that treats acute phase, then a prophylactic management of every case of migraine should be done, followed by knowledge on relaxation techniques as a mandatory regime acts as precautionary measure to prevent further episodes and control intensity of migraine in patients. allows user to search for surgical procedure diagnostic test and other healthcare services amongst various hospital and healthcare provider in and around the location of user to compare the cost of services, compare the quality of services by the user rating/reviews to take informed decision.

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