Millions of people suffer from migraine headaches that cause debilitating symptoms like intense throbbing head pain, muscular stiffness, stomach cramps, vomiting, fatigue, and hypersensitivity to lights and scents. Statistically, most migraineurs are women, by a 3-1 margin. Despite the fact that migraine headaches are a global crisis, accounting for approximately 10% of the population, scientists are yet to produce a cure or effective treatment.
Migraine headaches fall into two categories- migraine with aura, and migraine without aura. A migraine aura is a condition that occurs mere minutes before migraine headaches attack. In most cases, somebody getting a migraine aura has barely enough time to grab a migraine abortive medication or pain reliever and find a dark room to recuperate. Sometimes, migraine auras occur independently of migraine headaches.
- Symptoms of migraine headaches with aura may include:
- Sudden overwhelming fatigue
- Hallucinatory scents
- Visual disturbances involving light patterns, empty voids, or blind spots
- Distorted awareness of time, space, and body
- Partial paralysis
- Speech slurring
Migraine headaches are not just really strong head pains, contrary to the popular misconception. For one, migraine headaches are neurological in nature, where ordinary stress headaches are caused by taut muscles. Also, unlike common headaches, migraine headaches are painful to the point of incapacitation, sometimes requiring intense pain medication that inhibits your ability to work, drive, or have a normal conversation. And while an ordinary headache responds quickly to medication, migraine headaches can last for days, occurring several times per month.
Migraine headaches are so devastating, that each year they force thousands of chronic headache sufferers into unemployment. According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), migraine disorder is one of the leading causes of disability, accounting for plummeting levels of work-time productivity and an increase in poverty.
Scientists are still attempting to find the exact cause for migraine headaches. The most popular theory is that migraine triggers excite nerve cells that transmit pain messages to the brain, resulting in severe migraine headaches, sharp eye pain, and hypersensitivity to environmental factors like bright lights, strong scents, allergens, and weather patterns.
Popular treatments for migraine headaches include prescription pain relievers, abortive medicines, preventative drugs, and natural alternative medications.