Very often you may hear people talk about migraine headaches in a very casual way. However, migraine is not “just a headache”. There are many deeper layers to this complex brain condition. Let us explore 6 facts about migraine which you probably did not know.
1) Migraine is a disorder1:
Migraine is characterised by recurrent, intense, throbbing, and unilateral head pain often associated with nausea, vomiting, photophobia, and phonophobia. Long back, it was thought that migraine is a result of inflammation and dilation of cranial arteries which produced headache like pain. However, recent advances in the field of migraine have revealed that migraine is a neurological disorder and involves blood vessels as well as nerves of the brain.
2) Migraine can affect people of all ages2:
Migraine headaches can occur at any age, from young kids to children to adults. In fact, it is estimated to affect 4-10% of school-aged children.
3) There are specialist doctors who can treat migraine:
Since migraine is a complex disorder in itself, there is a set of doctors who specialize in treating migraine headaches. Always visit a Doctor for manging migraine and never self-medicate.
4) Some pain-relieving medications can backfire: 3
Not all over-the-counter medicines available can cure a migraine headache. Migraine requires special treatment and hence consuming regular pain killers repeatedly can lead to a condition called “medication overuse migraine” Hence it is better to avoid self-medication.5) More women suffer from migraine than men4:
It is estimated that 18% of women are and only 6% of men worldwide are affected with migraine headache.
6) Every migraineur has a unique trigger:
A migraine headache does not just happen, it needs a trigger to flare up the attack. The triggers can vary from person to person. Therefore, identifying and understanding triggers is one of the ways to control and manage migraine headaches.
*Photophobia: Inability to face bright and flickering lights
*Phonophobia: Inability to bear loud noises
- Ann Indian Acad Neurol. 2016 Apr-Jun; 19(2): 175–182. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4888678/
- J Headache Pain. 2016; 17(1): 94. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5074936/
- 3. Ther Adv Drug Saf. 2014 Apr;5(2):87-99
- Pain Med. 2015 Jul;16(7):1426-32. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25930018