A migraine can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation, usually on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine attacks can last for hours to days, with severe headaches that interfere with daily activities. The condition develops in 4 phases:
Prodrome, which occurs 1-2 days before an attack, warns the patient of an upcoming migraine with mood swings and neck stiffness. This is followed by Aura, which includes visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or blind spots, tingling in the face, arm, or leg, and difficulty speaking. The actual migraine attack can last from 4-72 hours and is followed by the Post-drome phase, where the patient is fatigued.
There are several triggers that lead to migraines like hormonal changes in women during monthly periods, pregnancy or menopause, increased stress, consumption of alcohol or caffeine, overloaded sensory stimuli like bright lights or sunlight, sleep, climate, or food changes. CT scans and MRIs may be taken to rule out any other physical causes of the recurrent headaches. Treatment includes pain relievers and anti-nausea medication.
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