Do you know how to recognise a migraine?

Do you know how to recognise a migraine? Today we explain some of the key points.

Migraine is a condition which is characterised by headache, normally only on one side of the head, which can often be very severe and accompanied by nausea and vomiting as well as extreme sensitivity to light and sound. It is a condition which affects approximately 15% of the population, although it is often confused with a common headache.

Today at Vithas Xanit International Hospital's Neurosciences Department they are going to explain some of migraine’s most common characteristics so we can understand and recognise the condition and learn how to treat it in the most appropriate way,
One of the main problems that specialists have in treating migraines is the general population’s lack of knowledge about this condition, in the majority of cases the patient does not know how to differentiate between a migraine and a common headache. To understand the main difference between one pathology and the other, it is important to note the type of pain which, as we explained at the beginning of this post, in a migraine often only affects one side of the head, is often severe with nausea and vomiting and can be accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Some notable characteristics of this condition include:

• Age at onset: although migraine can start at any age it is common for it to begin at between 10 and 30 years old, and is more common in women.

• Some migraines can be preceded or accompanied by sensory symptoms such as visual disturbances including flashing lights or blind spots.

• Pins and needles in one arm or leg are another common symptom.

• Some patients can also experience other complications such as
chronic migraine where their pain occurs for 8 days a month over a period of more than three months.

Vithas Xanit Neurosciences Department explains the importance of closely monitoring symptoms to be able to recognise the condition and see the specialist as soon as possible. The specialist can then treat it in the most appropriate way, and more importantly advise how to manage attacks, which in many cases can be triggered by factors such as changes in the weather, changes in sleep patterns, alcohol or, in women, hormonal changes.

In regards to the treatment of this condition, although migraines cannot be cured, there are treatments which can alleviate the pain and prevent them in the case of chronic migraine. There are two types of drugs, those which alleviate the pain during migraine attacks and those that control chronic migraine.

During migraine attacks the patient can take painkillers or anti-inflammatories as well as specific analgesia, the latter always under medical supervision due to restricted use.

There are also drugs to control chronic migraine which must always be prescribed by a specialist in line with the patient's characteristics and medical history.

It is important that the person experiencing one of the aforementioned symptoms visits the specialist. This will orientate the treatment to be followed depending on each patient's characteristics and the degree of severity of the migraine. It is important to remember that not all headaches are migraines and those who present signs and symptoms of migraine attacks must keep a record to monitor the condition so appropriate treatment can be established.

If you would like to know more about this condition please contact the Vithas Xanit Department of Neurosciences. More information is available here (Spanish information):

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Dec 20, 2016
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