Around the world, it is estimated that seven (7) in ten (10) people experience at least one (1) headache a year. This fairly common occurrence is described as discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck area. When the pain intensifies, it can then be classified as migraine—undoubtedly the worst kind of headache.
As it comes with intense pulsing on one (1) or both sides of the face, migraines can render people practically incapacitated and incapable of being productive. In the United Kingdom, those who go to work or school lose approximately twenty-five (25) million days a year due to chronic migraine episodes.
In the Philippines, about twelve (12) million Filipinos suffer from migraine. With such a high record, it is essential to know more about this prevalent illness to manage it best when it happens—starting with its types: migraine with aura and without.
What is a Migraine?
Unlike regular headaches, other factors come into play that can make migraines worse, including simple movements, activities, bright lights, or loud noises. Migraines can also result in nausea and vomiting.
What is a Migraine with Aura?
- Seeing zigzag lines, flashing lights, blind spots
- Having distorted vision or temporary vision loss
- Hearing constant ringing
- Smelling strange odors
- Tingling in hand or face
Types of Migraine
Migraine with aura
In a Cleveland Clinic report, fifteen (15) to twenty (20) percent of people with migraines are said to experience auras, which could last from ten (10) to sixty (60) minutes. Head pains that come with classic migraines may be focused on one (1) side of the head or both.
Migraine without aura
Causes of Migraine
Changes in sleep pattern
Mental or emotional triggers
- Artificial sweeteners
- Flavor enhancers
- Citrus fruits
- Red wine or other alcoholic beverages
- Caffeinated drinks (coffee, tea, or sodas)
- Birth control pills and hormone therapy
- Visual phenomena. This occurrence includes seeing multiple images at a time, shrunken or enlarged images, distortion of a shape or entire picture, and persistence of visual images.
- Vision impairment. People experiencing migraines with aura may suffer from temporary blurriness or vision loss often described as “looking through a film.”
- Difficulty speaking. Aphasia is common, too. It is a condition associated with the difficulty of finding words to say. Such a concern can affect one’s capacity to write and understand a language.
- Numbness. Tingling sensations in one (1) hand or on one (1) side of the face is another sign of migraine with aura. This numbness may begin at a small portion of the body and then spread slowly throughout the limbs and face.
- Hearing non-existent sounds. An aura can also cause hearing disturbances. Sometimes, those with extreme migraines hear music or noises not even there, such as a ringing in the head.
- Mood changes. While in the absence of an aura, individuals suffering from this migraine can feel depressed, irritated, and distracted. They may also experience sudden shifts in mood throughout the day.
- Food cravings. Intense hunger is one of the common symptoms of headaches, and those dealing with migraine often have food cravings, as well. This strong urge to consume food manifests in the prodrome phase of a migraine.
- Mild muscle stiffness. Muscle weakness may also appear when managing migraines without aura. While nothing extreme like numbness throughout the body, there can still be stiffness, especially around the neck.
- Sensitivity to light and sound. Like common headaches, bright or flashing lights and loud noises can trigger or worsen a migraine without aura episode. People who experience intense pounding in their heads can build sensitivity for these things.
- Nausea and vomiting. Migraine attacks that give off intense pain on one (1) or both sides of the head can weaken the body. In some cases where serotonin levels drop, it can result in nausea or even vomiting.
Managing Migraines Better for Peace of Mind
Taking breaks and destressing is a great start in dealing with migraines from the root. Relaxing both the mind and body can aid in preventing any stressors that may build up headaches and other symptoms that come with its worst kind.
For frequent and intolerable migraine attacks, it is best to consult a doctor. Prescribed medications and targeted treatments can ultimately alleviate migraines with or without aura and other neurological diseases linked to them.
If you are on the lookout for top-notch experts in neuroscience and world-class healthcare services to address your medical needs, reach out to Makati Medical Center today.