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A migraine is a severe headache that can be associated with symptoms including sensitivity to light and sound, dizziness, nausea, and many more. There are different types of migraines which carry different types of symptoms and durations. Many can even include prodrome or aura symptoms to indicate the onset of a migraine and lingering symptoms which remain afterwards. As there are over 150 types of migraine headaches, it is important to visit a qualified specialist for proper diagnosis, treatment, and relief of these severe, debilitating symptoms.


The root cause of migraines remains unknown to researchers today which can make them difficult to treat. Some common factors that can contribute include hormonal changes, family history or genes, barometric pressure changes, or strong stimuli to the nose or eyes. The current hypothesis is that a migraine likely starts when overactive nerve cells send out signals to trigger your trigeminal nerve, which gives sensation to your head and face. This cues your body to release chemicals like serotonin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP). CGRP makes blood vessels in the lining of your brain swell. Then, neurotransmitters cause inflammation and pain.


There is a wide variety of symptoms associated with migraines which can vary depending on the severity of a particular migraine. They differ based on the patient however most experience migraines in a series of three stages. The first stage discussed earlier is the prodrome or aura. This stage is typically accompanied by thirst, tunnel vision, changes in senses, fatigue, and sensitivity to the senses experienced by 60% of those who have chronic migraines. The second stage is the actual migraine attack which can vary in time from an average of 4 hours up to 3 days and can be associated with pain on one or both sides of the head, throbbing or pulsating pain, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, visual disturbances, and sensitivity to sounds, light, and smell. The final stage is known as postdrome which can last up to one day and typically causes confusion, mood changes, weakness, or food cravings.


The current best treatment for migraines is prevention which can come from a variety of treatments offered at Desert Pain Specialists as well as avoidance of triggers. Your physician may use a variety of treatments ranging from botox injections to medication management. It is also advised to maintain a healthy diet and exercise which can improve the frequency and severity of symptoms. Aside from prevention, there are medication options that can help to stop a migraine while it is happening by taking it at the onset of prodrome symptoms. If you suffer from migraine headaches, contact a Desert Pain Specialists physician today to discuss diagnosis and treatment options.
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