There are many different types of headache.
A migraine is a type of headache where the person often has an intense throbbing headache and additional symptoms such as nausea, vomiting or increased sensitivity to bright light, noise or smell.
There are two recognised forms of migraine. A migraine is often described as a classic migraine with ‘aura’ if the person gets some form of visual distortions prior to the headache. These visual distortions are often in the form of zigzag or flashing patterns across their vision. Non-classic or common migraine does not have this aura.
Migraines are thought to be caused by changes in the chemicals of the brain, in particular serotonin. Serotonin levels are believed to decrease during a migraine, which can cause the blood vessels in the brain to spasm and then dilate, causing the headache. Other triggers can be hormonal changes, certain food items, environmental situations, emotions, stress and physical triggers (for example muscular tension or poor sleep).
Acute migraines are usually treated using painkillers and anti-sickness medications. For people whose migraine does not respond to over-the-counter medications, stronger painkillers may be prescribed by a doctor. If a person suffers from regular debilitating migraines they may need to be prescribed preventative (prophylactic) medications, which they take to stop them getting migraines. There are various drugs currently prescribed for migraine prophylaxis, including beta-blockers and certain antidepressants or anticonvulsants.
Muscle relaxing injections to treat chronic migraines, it has been widely reported today. The muscle-paralysing injections are popular as a cosmetic treatment but, due to its nerve-blocking effects,
• relax muscles around the head and thereby reduce blood pressure within the brain
• reduce the nerves’ ability to send pain signals during a migraine
• prevent the nerves from sending signals that will lead to a migraine