A Migraine is a throbbing headache that can be debilitating. There are few things more debilitating in life than recurring migraine headaches. Your head throbs, you can barely tolerate the slightest flashes of lights nor pangs of sound, and you just want it to all be over as soon as possible. However, not all migraines are the same. Some come with what doctors call “auras”, while others are described as “attacks”. No matter how you suffer, though, migraines are never fun.
Migraine Symptoms and Potential Causes
The NIH defines a migraine headache as being “an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head”. But they also note that there is more to a migraine than just being an uncomfortable head throb. Migraines often also lead to nausea, as well and light and sound sensitivity, and have been known to attack the sufferer repeatedly for up to 72 hours. Migraines can also cause fatigue, extreme thirst, and constipation.
Around one-third of migraine sufferers report “auras”, or visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines or a temporary loss of vision. These auras can be particularly draining as they can negatively affect all of the senses. Migraine auras have been known to cause ringing in the ears, blind spots in the field of vision, and even scent hallucination.
Genetic and Environmental Factors
Doctors and scientists have determined a number of factors that may cause a person to suffer from migraines. According to the Mayo Clinic, “genetic and environmental factors” are determiners in whether or not someone may experience migraines. For women, rapid estrogen changes have been known to cause migraines, as has some hormonal medicine. More general causes include caffeine, high stress levels, and sensory overload. Doctors have uncovered several risk factors. These include: familial history, such as being closely related to a chronic migraine sufferer and being the age of 13-39. Women are “three times more likely” to suffer migraines than men and can occur during menstruation.