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Migraine Headache: Types, Symptoms

What is migraine?

Migraine is a type of headache, which is usually intense and lasts for a few minutes to a few hours. It may last even for a day or more. It can start from any part of the head and spread to other parts or remain restricted to one part but usually begins from a specific area on one side of the head. Migraine may though sound similar to other types of headaches but is actually different. Non-migraine headaches usually have known cause like fatigue, sleeplessness, eyestrain, high blood pressure, low blood pressure, injury, sinusitis, brain tumor, emotional disturbance, fever, indigestion, constipation, fasting, weather changes, etc. whereas the exact cause of migraine is not known. Migraine attacks are usually periodic, daily at a particular time or in a particular condition, on alternate day, weekly, fortnightly or monthly. In some cases it may even be irregular. Migraine does not indicate a psychological problem and is not contagious either. You don't pass it on to others.

Types of pain

The pain may be severe to moderate and tearing, throbbing, bursting, hammering or pressing in nature. While any headache can be severe and troublesome, migraine is especially very disgusting. The severity may incapacitate the sufferer for a while. Other symptoms associated with migraine may be visual impairment, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, depression, irritability, excessive sensitivity to light, sound etc. but may not necessarily occur during the attack. An individual may get more than one of these or none at all. There can be more factors specific to an individual triggering the headache.

Location of the pain can be:

- semi lateral left (one sided headache)
- semi lateral right (one sided headache)
- frontal to sides
- frontal to neck
- on top of the head
- back of the head
- one-sided etc. One-sided headaches have been found more commonly than other types.

Migraine symptoms

Migraine attack may start suddenly without a prior indication or begin with a warning sign, which is sensory in nature and is called "aura". The term "aura" as related to migraine means different to what it means in Reiki and chakra system of the human body. This warning sign or aura is not the same for every one. It is more of individual than general in nature. It may be a particular sensation in any part of the body, like tingling, warming, pain, numbness, pricking feeling like that of a pin or needle or any other special sensation. The aura may also be visual like flashes of light, tingling of stars, shaking or rotation of objects or yet another indication.

Who gets migraine

Migraine is a common ailment not restricted to a particular gender or age group. There are different statistics about the percentage of children, adults, men and women who get migraine but it is believed that generally 15 to 20% of the women and 6 to 8% of the men get migraine in some part of their life. Whatever be the figure, majority of the migraine sufferers are middle-aged women. Children can also get migraine but they are not very many in number.