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Headaches - What Is Migraine Headache Attack ?

What are Migraine Headache Attacks?

Migraine is a severe headache felt as a throbbing pain at forehead front and/or sides of the head that can also be accompanied with nausea and sensitivity to light.
Although migraines can develop in either gender at any age, but they are more commonly seen in women than men and in early adolescence before the age of 40.  While some people experience these attacks several times a week, others get them occasionally and sometimes years apart.
In some cases, migraine headaches are triggered by certain factors that individuals learn to avoid such as eating a particular food or stress.
Usually these migraine headache attacks are confined to only one side or part of the head that lasts up to 72 hours. In certain cases, migraines are triggered by certain factors such as stress and due to eating particular foods, which can be avoided.

Signs and Symptoms of Migraine Headache include:
  • Severe throbbing pain headache that is felt at the front and/or sides of the head that becomes even worse when the person moves.
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Some people experience warning signs before the onset of this migraine headache such as stiffness in the shoulder, arms, and neck and vision problems.
  • Increased sensitivity to sounds and lights and the person likes to stay in a quiet and dark room when the migraine headaches are attacked.
Migraine Diagnosis
Migraines are diagnosed based on the symptoms, as there is no specific test to detect and confirm the migraine headache. The doctor needs to check with the pattern of recurrent headaches that are accompanied by certain symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, stiffness in the neck, vision problems etc.  Migrane can also attack without any of the above symptoms and infrequently which makes the diagnosis difficult.  Find below the steps that are taken in the process of diagnosis:

  • Patient’s family history is obtained.
  • Physical examination can be carried out to check for the patient’s vision to determine whether there are any other conditions that are causing the headaches.
  • Patients sometimes may be asked to maintain a diary to record the date and time of occurrence of migraines along with the symptoms they have experienced.
  • Patients will also be asked to keep a note of any foods eaten that is causing migraine attacks.