While migraine headache causes are still the subject of ongoing research, the fact that there are two types of migraine makes diagnosis difficult and a little mysterious
Migraine headaches and known migraine headache causes
The exact causes of migraine headaches aren’t known, but one common symptom of a migraine headache is acute, throbbing pain on one side of the head, usually localized near one temple.
However, this is very often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise.
Over 28 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, almost 10% of the population.
- Migraine headaches affect women three times more than men
- Children and adolescents can experience them as well.
- Despite how common it is, nearly half of sufferers never see a physician about the condition.
- Attacks last anywhere from a few hours to three full days
- with longer attacks victims suffer subsidiary effects for longer periods.
Though there’s no general consensus, many researchers believe the condition is a genetic disorder, affecting how certain brain chemicals (neurotransmitters such as serotonin) interact with nerve cells.
Migraine Types & Migraine Headache Causes …
A puzzling condition, the complexities of migraine headache causes are increased by the fact that migraines come in two different types…
The first type, the so-called ‘classical migraine’, is associated with something professionals term an ‘aura’. Nothing to do with mystical fields around the body, it refers to the symptoms headache sufferers experience before the onset of a migraine headache.
For these migraine sufferers, it’s common to have visual hallucinations such as seeing bright spots, flashing lights or even to suffer loss of vision. Once they occur, the full migraine is usually not far behind.
The secondary class of migraine headache causes, are when these pre-cursor symptoms are absent.
Complex Migraine Headache Causes and Triggers
Migraine triggers, the headache causes and exactly what brings on a migraine headache is complex
- Sufferers who have experienced lack of sleep can be at higher risk, though getting too much sleep has been correlated with a higher incidence.
- Attacks are often associated with eating certain foods, such as cheese, while skipping meals increases the risk, as well. Getting that balance right is a continual challenge.
- Certain hormonal factors are believed to influence the onset and severity of attacks.
- One piece of evidence is the much higher incidence among women than men, roughly 17% as opposed to 6% according to one study. In addition, studies have shown a connection between contraceptive pills and migraines. Estrogen is a component of birth control pills and affects blood vessels.
- Simple everyday activities, such as walking up stairs or other intensive physical exertion, can trigger an attack.
- Other triggers can involve extreme heat or cold, loud noises or flickering lights.
- Stress can also be factor.
Often, migraine headaches occur more frequently when there is a combination of some or all of the above triggers.
Sufferers should keep a diary of when attacks occur, and the internal and external circumstances and conditions prevalent at the time.
This can help migraine sufferers adapt and make lifestyle changes that result in a reduced incidence of the frequency of attacks.
Fortunately, there are a variety of headache treatments available that can reduce the severity of migraine pain and may negate migraine headache causes, though none has been shown to be overwhelmingly effective in all cases.
Sometimes simple acetaminophen is a useful aid. In more extreme cases, triptans and other prescription medications are called for.
Whatever triggers your migraine or whatever your migraine headache causes are; if you suffer repeated attacks you should definitely see your physician.