Flickering environment, pounding pain

Normal headaches are harmless compared to what migraine sufferers endure. For hours or days the head beats. The important thing is to find the triggers of the pain.

Even days before it starts, the migraine announces itself to many sufferers. In some, lead fatigue and lack of drive are preceded by headache attacks, while others experience a phase of exuberant energy, restlessness, and irritability. Shortly before the headaches start, 10 to 15 percent of migraine sufferers experience a so-called aura: Zigzag lines and light phenomena appear to them, they perceive their surroundings as wafting or flickering. Some become dizzy, they can not speak properly for a while or even pass out.

Then the actual migraine begins A pulsating, hammering pain that rages under the skull and can last for hours, but also for days. Light, movement, sounds and even smells are perceived as unpleasant or painful, which is why migraine sufferers like to retreat into darkened rooms. Many become sick with a strong attack and they vomit. As a rule, migraine hurts only one side of the head, but the pain can also spread to both sides.

Migraine is a widespread disease: experts estimate that around 18 million Germans suffer from it, women are affected more often than men. How exactly the migraine arises is scientifically not yet clarified. It is known that certain external factors, called triggers, can trigger a seizure: These may be cigarette smoke, stress , certain foods, skipping meals, or irregular sleep-wake rhythm.

Physicians have long known that the brain of migraineurs respond particularly strongly to stimuli - the predisposition seems to be partly inheritable. A current theory of formation states that by over activating the nerves, the brain is flooded with messengers, which ultimately leads to inflammation of blood vessels of the meninges, causing the pain.

Acute seizures can relieve common over-the-counter pain relievers or special migraine remedies called triptans. However, those who take painkillers too often risk getting a drug-induced headache . Therefore, patients who are severely affected also try to prevent with medication to reduce the number of migraine attacks and relieve their severity. For this purpose, drugs are prescribed that are otherwise used to treat high blood pressure or epilepsy.

Stress is considered a possible trigger

It is best to reduce the number of migraine attacks without medication . For example, patients may keep a headache diary and try to find out if there is a typical trigger that can trigger attacks on them. However, this is not always possible - at the same time an extreme avoidance behavior in everyday life can lower the quality of life.

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