Who get migraine?
Physiologically, migraine headache is a neurological condition that is more commonly known to afflict women than men. Women experience migraines at least three times more often than men, probably because of hormonal changes. However, migraines can occur in children also, but they mostly appear in people in their twenties or thirties.
Studies have revealed that migraines could be inherited. For example, if one parent is afflicted with migraine, there is a 40% chance that the child will have migraine. If both parents have migraine, the probability increases to 75 %.
Although, there is no specific migraine personality, most migraine sufferers have been found to be perfectionists, high-strung, conscientious, orderly, analytical and critical.
Symptoms and treatment of migraine
Symptoms of Migraine
Migraine pain generally differs from other types of headache; it has specific symptoms that may vary in intensity, character, frequency and duration. Migraine attacks can appear from a couple of times a year to almost every day. The two main types of migraine are:
- Classical Migraine - migraine with aura
- Common Migraine - migraine without no warning or aura
A few migraine patients may experience an aura, which is normally treated as a sign of the pain to come. The aura consists of bright spots or zigzag lines and blurred vision or temporary visual loss. In rare cases numbness or tingling of the face and lips can also be observed. However, these symptoms generally disappear within an hour and are then replaced by a headache. In some cases the aura may not be followed by headaches.
Common migraine headache mostly begin without warning and are most commonly experienced by children. Common symptoms of this migraine are associated with :
- Intense head pain (the pain begins on one side of the head and spreads downward to the eye, face and even neck; the pain can also switch sides or affect both sides at once)
- Relentless throbbing or pounding deep in the head
- Strong and painful reactions to light and loud noises
- Activity associated pain (the simple act of moving may be difficult during the migraine attack)
- Not being able to carry out day to day activities.
- The need to lie down during attacks
People may sometimes experience all or some of the symptoms which are either moderate or severe. Migraine attacks may last from anywhere up to four hours to three days. This affliction has the potential to severely disrupt your work and family life as well as your social activities.
Migraine, it is believed, is triggered by changes in the neurotransmitters and blood vessels in the brain. However, certain factors have been identified that can trigger attacks in susceptible people. They are :
- Stress (or sometimes the relief of stress)
- Lack of food or infrequent meals
- Certain foods products containing monosodium glutamate, caffeine, tyramine or alcohol
- Overtiredness (both physical and mental)
- Changing sleep patterns (e.g. weekend lie ins, sleeplessness or shift work)
- Hormonal factors (e.g. monthly periods, contraceptive pill, HRT or menopause)
- Extreme emotions (e.g. anger, grief etc.)
- Physical activity
- Environmental factors (e.g. loud noise, bright or flickering lights, strong perfumes, hot stuffy atmosphere, VDUs etc.)
- Climatic conditions (e.g. strong winds, extreme heat or cold)
For most people, afflicted with migraines, it is usually not any one trigger but a combination of factors which collectively work against a person's threshold and an attack is triggered.
Cefaly medical device for migraine
Cefaly is a medical device that relieves pain in people suffering from migraines and cluster/tension headaches as well as trigeminal neuralgia and frontal sinusitis. It has a full EEC medical certification. A patented system, it bears the ISO and CE medical mark.
The unit consists of a band that is worn around the front of the head and it then sends electrical impulses through an electrode patch placed in between the eyebrows. This device works on the trigeminal nerves at the front of the face. It works at three programs levels. They are:
- Programs 1 - Is a treatment programs, based on TENS technology. It works on blocking the flow of pain at the entrance of the spinal cord.
- Programs 2 - Is the preventive or endorphinic programs. It increases the endorphins (natural painkillers) in the central nervous system.
- Programs 3 - Is the anti-stress and relaxation programs.
Numerous tests and clinical studies have been conducted that prove that Cefaly is effective, with almost 85% of its users being extremely satisfied with the results.
By Mark Bevan
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