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What is migraine?

A migraine is a throbbing, intense headache in one half of the head.  It can affect people of all ages and the cause of these headaches is often not known.

During a migraine attack, the blood vessels in the brain dilate and then draw together with stimulation of nerve endings near the affected blood vessels. These changes to the blood vessels are probably what cause the headache pain, but migraine headache is a condition that is poorly understood.

Symptoms of Migraine?

People often use the word migraine to refer to headaches of many different types. So-called classical migraine attacks have several features (though a person may not experience them all):

  • Migraine headache occurs in bouts lasting roughly 4 to 72 hours.
  • These intense headaches usually affect one side of the head at a time, although both sides may be affected in separate headache attacks.
  • Headaches are usually throbbing and worsened by normal physical activity, nausea and/or vomiting
  • The collection of symptoms above are known as the Migraine “aura”. Approximately one-third of people who suffer from these headaches perceive an aura  signaling that a migraine will soon occur.  Most often an aura is visual, such as zigzag lines or flashing lights across or at the edges of the fields of vision.
  • Sensitivity to light and sound.
  • Non-visual aura such as a sensation of tingling in the body.

Migraine Headache Treatment

The treatment that works best for different people may vary.

  • Many over the counter remedies help. Ask our pharmacist for more advise
  • If this fails, you should talk to your doctor about prescription treatments.
  • A food diary often helps identify if foods are a cause of your headache.
  • If you experience a migraine headache, the best thing is often to rest in a dark quiet room.
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