A migraine can be an extremely painful experience, which affects certain areas of the head. Symptoms can include extreme pain, nausea, vomiting and even disturbances to the vision.
This pain can occur behind the temples or behind the ears or eyes. Usually occurring in the morning, migraines can also occur at any time of the day, lasting for anything from a few hours to a number of days.
There is no specifically known cause for migraines but experts suspect that problems involving lack of sleep, a bad diet, stress and feminine hormonal changes are often triggers.
Certain foods and intense light have also been proposed as triggers for migraine attacks. It is believed that restricted blood flow to the brain is what brings on the pain.
Technically speaking, a migraine is not actually a headache in itself – a headache is just the most common symptom of a migraine. Rarely, this symptom may not even arise during a migraine attach.
Predicting when a migraine attack is about to come is also possible, as some sufferers have reported when they experience a sudden loss or disturbance of vision.
These symptoms can arise up to a day before the attack itself and during this time many sufferers report feeling stressed, depressed or bad-tempered.
It is believed that a quarter of all people experience migraines, more being women than men. They can affect people of any age with girls and boys under ten suffering equally but after the age of twelve, there are three times more female sufferers than male.
Migraines may come as often as ten times in a month although usually only once or twice. Problems with migraines are partly hereditary too with people who suffer from migraines often having a parent who has the problem as well.
It is hard for doctors themselves to pinpoint the exact triggers of migraines since the circumstances and symptoms are different in every case depending on the individual. Migraine sufferers should keep a diary to track every symptom they experience and the circumstances surrounding them.
There are some popular ways to help treat the problem, the most coming being to simply lie in a dark room while others say that certain over-the-counter drugs like ibuprofen or aspirin can help to treat the problem.
In more serious cases, doctors may also prescribe stronger medicines. An ice pack behind the head will decrease the blood flow to the head and offer instantaneous relief.
If you suffer from frequent and especially intense migraines, it is strongly advisable to speak to a doctor.