Migraine is a type of headache that occurs as an attack and causes severe or pounding pain. The headache develops suddenly. Sometimes even in the middle of the night. The pain is usually located on one side of the head.
Description of condition
A distinction is made between a migraine with an aura and a migraine without an aura. An aura means that the patient exhibits neurological symptoms, such as seeing flashes of light, spots or blotches. The patient may also suffer loss of vision, pins and needles, loss of strength and speech disruption. Migraine without aura is the most common.
Cause and history
The exact cause of migraines is not known.
Signs & symptoms
The patient has suffered at least five attacks of headache, lasting 4 - 72 hours. In addition, a number of the following symptoms may occur:
- The pain is throbbing or pounding, and moderate to severe.
- Exertion makes the symptoms worse.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- The patient tries to avoid light and noise.
If the patient suffers migraine with an aura, the patient may experience flashes of light, spots or blotches in the field of vision. Sometimes the patient suffers vision problems or speech disruption. Pins and needles or decreased sensitivity of the skin are also possible. The aura symptoms last no longer than an hour and precede the headache.
This condition is usually treated with medication. Analgesics can reduce the severity of the attacks. A single dose of ibuprofen, paracetamol or aspirin reduces the pain in many cases.
Nugteren, K. van & Winkel, D. (2012). Onderzoek en behandeling van de nek. Houten: Bohn Stafleu van Loghum.