Chronic Migraine

What is Chronic Migraine?

Extreme pain, throbbing, or pulsating are all symptoms of a migraine, which is a type of headache that typically only affects one side of the head. Extreme photophobia and audiophobia, along with sickness and vomiting, are common symptoms. Migraine pain might be severe enough to prevent you from going about your daily routine, and it can last for hours or even days.

A warning sign known as an aura may appear before or concurrently with the headache in some persons. Auras can include speech difficulties, tingling on one side of the face or in an arm or leg, as well as vision problems like light flashes or blind spots.

Major signs that can indicate chronic migraine include:

Both acute and chronic pain migraine share the same chronic migraine symptoms. The major modification is an increase in headache frequency. Common migraine signs include:

  • moderate to severe headaches made exacerbated by movement or strenuous activity
  • Stroke-like or migraine-like pain on one or both sides of the head
  • Throbbing pain or pressure-like pain
  • Sensitivity to light, sound, smells
  • Nausea/vomiting
  • Dizziness

What causes chronic migraines?

Although the exact causes of migraines are still not known, genetics and environmental factors seem to be involved.

A significant pain pathway, the trigeminal nerve, and its interactions with the brainstem may play a role. The same may be said for chemical imbalances in the brain, such as serotonin, which helps your nervous system control pain.

There are numerous factors that might cause migraines, such as:

Hormonal changes in women:

Many women seem to experience headaches when their estrogen levels fluctuate, such as before or during menstrual periods, during pregnancy, or throughout menopause.

Additionally, some drugs may make migraines worse. However, some women discover that using these drugs lessens how frequently they experience migraine relief headaches.

Stress:

Stress at work or home might result in migraines.

Sensory stimuli:

Loud noises and bright or flashing lights can also cause migraines. Some people experience migraines when they are exposed to strong scents like perfume, paint thinner, secondhand smoke, and others.

Changes in sleep:

For certain people, sleep deprivation or excessive sleep can cause migraines.

The impact of chronic migraines:

Your daily life will be greatly impacted if you have chronic migraine. Chronic migraine affects your physical, social, and professional lives severely and is associated with increased impairment. It may have a significant effect on your relationships as well. Compared to persons with episodic migraine, many people with chronic migraine report a lower quality of life and worse health.

Diagnosis of chronic migraine can include:

It’s crucial to discuss your symptoms with a healthcare professional if you suspect you may have chronic migraine. That might be either your family doctor or a headache expert.

Instead of the level of difficulty you suffer, a diagnosis is based on how many days per week you experience headaches. Thus, keeping note of your headache days is crucial. The amount of days that they get headaches is frequently underestimated. That’s because they frequently overestimate the truly terrible days while underestimating the more tolerable ones.

You risk giving your doctor a distorted idea of your genuine headache load if you only include your most severe headaches. As a result, they might fail to diagnose a chronic migraine.

Your doctor should carefully examine you to rule out any other probable reasons for your recurrent headaches if you suspect chronic migraine. One type of chronic daily headache is secondary headaches, which are headaches brought on by an underlying illness or condition.

Treatment of the chronic migraine condition:

The major objectives of treating chronic migraine are controlling migraine attacks, reducing migraine attacks with preventative medicines, and managing lifestyle factors and headache triggers.

  • If you are overweight, lose weight.
  • Starting a medical professional-approved workout program.
  • Control your stress. Learn stress-reduction practices like yoga, meditation, relaxation training, or mindful breathing.
  • Establish a regular schedule for meal and snack times; avoid skipping meals.
  • Drinking plenty of water.
  • Start receiving therapy for any current mood illness, such as depression or anxiety, or sleep issues.

Is chronic migraine dangerous?

The perception of migraines as a painful condition that reduces the quality of life but is otherwise not harmful has long existed.

It may be beneficial for some persons with chronic migraines to assess their triggers and consider making lifestyle adjustments. Stress and disturbed sleep are frequent triggers. Although not all triggers can be addressed and not everyone can identify them, for some people it may not be helpful. Many people who suffer from chronic migraine find it challenging to pinpoint triggers and lifestyle modifications until their symptoms start to get better.

There are alternative choices available for patients with chronic migraines who have not responded to prior therapies. Controlling the headache is the main goal for those who suffer from chronic migraine. It is reasonable to assume that the frequency and severity of migraine headaches can be decreased with an effective Chronic migraine treatment plan. Many chronic migraine sufferers may eventually experience migraine attacks again.

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