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Migraine is a medical condition linked to severe, painful headaches either on one or both sides of the head. The pain can arise from any area of the head but is most common behind the ear, in the forehead, or one eye. This intense pain caused by migraines can extend up to several hours or sometimes even days.
What causes migraines?
Unfortunately, there is no obvious explanation as to what causes a migraine as scientists are yet to solve this mystery. The doctors most commonly believe that migraines can initiate due to an imbalance of a chemical known as serotonin in our body. High levels of serotonin cause blood vessels to shrink, while low levels of serotonin result in swelling of blood vessels. This dilating of blood vessels are known to cause pain related to migraine.
However, there are a lot of factors that are known to trigger migraines that include hormonal and genetic orientation, other medical conditions, physical discomfort, diet, and emotional distress, etc.
Processed, salty foods, aged cheese, and canned meat are all known to trigger migraines. Apart from them, excess intake of caffeine, alcoholic beverages, and fruits such as avocados, papaya, passion fruits are also responsible for initiate the pain.
- Hormonal imbalance
Hormonal changes, especially during pregnancy and menstrual cycles, are commonly responsible for triggering migraines in women. Females may report migraine headaches during or before their periods. That is due to the sudden changes in estrogen levels during such times that can contribute to the migraine.
- Physical stress
Extreme physical activity such as exercising, sexual activity, or physical over-exertion, is all linked to migraine. Moreover, the lack of sufficient sleep, tiredness, or even poor posture problems can cause migraine pain.
Certain medicines such as sleeping pills, contraceptive pills, and vasodilators are known to initiate a migraine.
- Environmental factors
External elements such as ever-changing weather conditions, temperature shifts, and altering in barometric pressure can start a migraine. Moreover, loud banging noises, strong odors, and passive smoke are also known to do the same.
How to deal with migraines?
The treatment of migraine mostly depends upon several medications designed to stop the symptoms and reduce the possibility of any future attacks. These medicines include some common over-the-counter pain-killers such as aspirin etc. Other more migraine-specific drugs include triptans known to block the pathways of pain in the brain. Anti-depressants, anti-seizures, and opioid medicines are also useful for the treatment.
Some other conventional methods aimed at preventing migraines are as below.
- Blocking out the noise and light
Migraine patients are most sensitive to bright lights and loud sounds that can potentially trigger a migraine or make an existing even worse. Therefore, resting in a dark room with blocking out all the external noises can help ease the pain by letting the brain to relax.
Meditation is known to ease physical pain and, therefore, could not only battle against the headaches but could also have positive and pleasant effects on our mind and body.
- Avoid dehydration
Taking a considerable amount of water or fluids restores the required water balance in our body; meanwhile, dehydration can lead to triggering the migraine pain.
- Use lavender oil
According to research, lavender oil is useful for relieving migraine pain. It can be massaged to the head or even inhaled as the scent can help your mind relax.
Migraine is the most common health condition in the world that affects at least one in every seven people. However, with proper treatment along with suitable medication and a little emphasis on diet and habits, one can take control of the disease.