Migraine headaches are terrible, and anyone who has ever been afflicted with one knows that well. What is a migraine? How does it differ from other headaches? To answer these questions, one must look at the various causes of migraines, which range from dehydration to sleep deprivation.
Migraines are often compared to severe, splitting headaches that may be accompanied by nausea and vomiting; they are also frequently accompanied by photophobia (light sensitivity) and phonophobia (sound sensitivity). These symptoms make it difficult to function normally. The pain is usually on one side of the head and can increase in intensity quickly.
Migraines can also cause aura, sensory disturbances that may be difficult to describe but which manifest as unusual optical, sensory, or motoric phenomena such as scotoma, hemianopsia, hemiageusia (distortion of the sense of taste), aphasia (difficulty speaking), or transient weakness in an arm or leg.
What causes migraine headaches?
Many different reasons might cause migraine headaches. Some of these causes include changes in blood vessels in the brain, heredity, environmental factors, and certain foods.
Other causes might even be mood factors, menstrual cycles, or infections. Migraine headaches can be very painful for those who suffer from them. However, they may also have accompanying symptoms such as nausea and vomiting.
For some people, a migraine headache will only last a day or two while others may experience ones that last for weeks on end. You can visit your doctor if you’re experiencing migraines more than twice a month to determine the underlying cause of this debilitating condition.
Some many causes and factors can lead to migraine headaches. Just as there are numerous causes, there are also numerous symptoms associated with these headaches. Some of the most common symptoms include:
Many different foods can trigger migraine headaches in those who suffer from them. This is especially true for those who suffer from an intolerance to certain foods known as food allergies. Common foods include Caffeine, Alcohol, Cured Meats, MSG, and so on.
Certain strong odors can also trigger a migraine headache. It is believed that smells give us a sense of comfort and familiarity. However, some people seem to be allergic to certain scents, thus producing an allergic reaction such as a migraine headache. Common scents include perfume, cigarette, paint thinner, gasoline, and so on.
Migraines can be hereditary. If you have a family history of migraines, you are more likely to develop them yourself. It is believed that there is a genetic link between families who have migraines.
In some cases, a change in the structure of the brain causes this condition to be hereditary. In other cases, heredity might not seem to play as large of a role but environmental factors might be at work instead. Sometimes those with chronic headaches may actually carry the gene for migraines but will only get them in times of great stress or exhaustion. And thus heredity might not appear to play any role in their case and may even seem like just an occasional headache instead.