Migraine- Its symptoms, how it is diagnosed, and how to treat it

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What is migraine

Migraines are recurring headaches that can last from a few hours to multiple days. Migraine causes throbbing pain in a particular spot. Unlike other types of headaches, migraines can affect a particular part of the head. It can happen on either side of the head or both. It may also be experienced on the back of the head. Migraines are more common at the side of the head and behind the eyes. 

Migraine
Migraine

Migraines can be triggered by hormonal changes, stress, exercise and change in diet. Most migraines go unnoticed and undiagnosed since people think of them as simple headaches. 

You should consult a doctor if you experience recurring headaches that can last for more than a day. 

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Symptoms of Migraines

  • Intense and throbbing pain in a particular spot on the head
  • Pain on the side of the head and back of the eye
  • Vision distortion, the appearance of lights in front of the eyes and pixelated vision caused by a decrease in the blood pressure due to migraines
  • Fatigue and numbness in a particular side of the body
  • Nausea, gastric problems, diarrhoea and vomiting 
  • Cervical pain and neck problems 

Also read: Easy Tips to get rid of Frequent Headaches

Diagnosing Migraine

Neurologists are doctors that specialise in treating headaches and migraines. First, they would ask you some questions about your condition and the symptoms you are experiencing. After that, they will diagnose if you have a migraine or some other medical condition. 

If you are experiencing intense migraines that last for more than a single day, then the neurologist will recommend tests to find out the causes of it and whether it is some other serious condition. Tests used for diagnosing migraine are-

MRI- MRI or Magnetic resonance imaging is an imaging technique that is used in radiology. MRI employs the use of magnetic fields and radio waves to generate images of the body. An MRI can be used to obtain detailed images of the brain and spinal cord to diagnose migraines and determine how serious it is. 

CT scan- CT scan or computed tomography is a medical imaging technique that is used to obtain a detailed image of the body non invasively. A CT scan uses X-ray technology to obtain the images. A CT scan is suitable for obtaining images of bones, blood vessels and muscles of the head. It can be used to determine a migraine and its effect. 

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How to treat migraine

Painkillers

Painkillers
Painkillers

Painkillers such as ibuprofen, Advil, aspirin and Tylenol can be used as a treatment for migraine. Painkillers reduce the throbbing pain and weakness of muscles in the head. However, make sure you don’t overuse the pills.

Cold compress

Cold compress
Cold compress

People who suffer from migraine can find relief from their symptoms by using a cold compress. Using ice packs or putting ice in a cloth and then using it as a cold compress are good options.    

Nausea Medicine

Nausea Medicine
Nausea Medicine

Nausea is a symptom of migraine and can make it worse. Nausea can make a person unable to perform even basic activities. To reduce further problems, nausea medicine is recommended.

Proper rest

Proper rest
Proper rest

Symptoms and complications of Migraine can be reduced by getting proper rest. If you have a migraine then it is a good idea to lie down a little or even sleep for a while. The symptoms vanish or get reduced after a full night’s sleep. 

Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated

Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated
Drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated

Oftentimes migraine can be caused by dehydration and lack of nutrients in the body. Therefore, you should drink plenty of fluids and stay hydrated to reduce symptoms and complications.

Meditation and yoga

Meditation and yoga
Meditation and yoga

More of a preventative step than a treatment, meditation and yoga relax our body and mind. They reduce the stress hormone and boost cognitive function. As a result, meditation and yoga reduce the risk of migraine. Activities that you can try are Hatha yoga, visualisation, mindfulness and body scan meditation.

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