Migraine Is More Than Just Headaches. Read To Know

migraine headache

Remember Anne Frank, the writer of the famous book ‘The Diary of a Young Girl’? In her book, Frank often reported a headache that disturbed her tremendously. According to headache specialists, ‘Frank’s headaches’ meet the criteria of migraine.

Migraine is one of the most common disabling illness in the world that affects around 1 billion people worldwide[1]. Each one of us knows at least someone suffering from migraine or struggling from the pain themselves. However, migraine is more than just a headache. Here’s more about the condition that you need to be aware of!

What Is A Migraine?

Migraine is a neurological disease that causes an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. However, it is much more and can include additional symptoms like nausea and/or vomiting, or sensitivity to both light and sound.

More than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed. Seeking an expert can help you to get diagnosed and effectively treated.

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What Are The Symptoms Of Migraine?

Symptoms can vary as per the type of migraine affecting a person. The two major types of migraine are:

Classic migraine (migraine with aura): About 25% of people have the early symptoms, called an aura, before a migraine begins, like vision changes, dizziness, confusion, feeling prickling skin, and weakness. Vision changes may include halos, sparkles or flashing lights, wavy lines, and even temporary loss of vision.

Common migraine (migraine without aura): There are no early symptoms. Pain is usually felt on one side of the head, often beginning around the eye and temple before spreading to the back of the head.

The most common features that differentiate a migraine from a headache are POUND, where

P means Pulsating pain

O means One-day duration of severe pain if left untreated

U means Unilateral (one-sided) pain

N means Nausea and vomiting

D means Disabling intensity.

Confused about whether that recurring disabling headache can be migraine? Don’t delay any further. Seek expert’s advice. Consult NOW!

How Often Is Too Often?

How often migraine occurs differs for everyone, but it’s common to get two to four headaches per month. More than 4% of the general population have at least 15 migraine days per month[2] Most migraine headaches last about 4 hours, but severe ones can go for more than 3 days.

How To Diagnose?

There is no actual test to diagnose migraine. Your doctor will take your medical history and rule out other causes for the pain and other symptoms.

What Causes Migraine?

Migraine is mostly inherited. For example, a child who has one parent with migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and if both parents have migraine, the chances rise to 75%. About 4 out of 5 migraine patients have a relative with migraine.

The Triggers To Be Wary of!

Although a migraine can come on without warning, it is often set off by a trigger.

1. Major triggers

-Changing weather (humidity, heat)

-Lack of sleep or oversleeping


-Hormonal changes in women (example, prior to the onset or during periods)

-Mental and emotional stress

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2. Dietary triggers

-Missing a meal

-Alcohol, especially red wine


-Aged cheese

-An increase or decrease in caffeine

-MSG (often present in Asian and prepared foods)

3. Sensory triggers

-Bright or flickering lights,

-Loud noises

-Strong smells like perfume or paints

Prevention: Want To Avoid Migraine?

One of the best ways of preventing migraines is by avoiding the triggers.

Stick to a schedule of eating, sleeping and physical activities.

Track the triggers which start the migraine pain and try to avoid them.

If weather conditions don’t favour, try to stay at home and fix your schedule accordingly.

Sleep well for at least 7-8 hours with dim or no lights.

Avoid using gadgets before going to sleep.

Avoid stress as much as possible.

Can It Be Treated?

Yes. Medicines are available to treat acute migraine and prevent future attacks too. But, never self-medicate. Get an expert’s advice to know which medicines would be best in your case.

(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)

Recommended Reads:

Troubled By Frequent Headaches? Try These 5 Home Remedies Right Away!

Types Of Headache And When To Go To A Doctor


1. Woldeamanuel YW, Cowan RP. Migraine affects 1 in 10 people worldwide featuring recent rise: A systematic review and meta-analysis of community-based studies involving 6 million participants. J Neurol Sci. 2017 Jan 15;372:307-315. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6191530/

2. Ahmed F, Parthasarathy R, Khalil M. Chronic daily headaches. Ann Indian Acad
Neurol. 2012 Aug;15(Suppl 1):S40-50. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3444216/

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