Migraines can be seen as a form of a severe head pain that is almost three times as common in women than men. If you don’t suffer with migraines yourself, then it is almost impossible to know the true extent of how debilitating they can be. Often, many people just think that migraines are just a form of headache.
However, this is far from the truth – as a migraine sufferer will soon tell you. Migraines are more than headaches because they involve a disturbance in the sensory activity of the brain and are more than just pain.
Headaches are caused when pain receptors become activated in mainly the muscle, mucous membranes, and blood vessels. This is because the brain itself has no pain receptors. However, while still little is known about what migraines actually are and what causes them, it has been shown that migraines appear to be caused by problems with the blood vessels within the skull.
During a migraine, research shows that blood vessels in the brain dilate, which causes the feeling of pain for the sufferer. Dilation is when the walls of the blood vessels expand. It has been widely accepted that the reason that dilation of blood vessels occur is because of an initial constriction of blood vessels. While this at first seems like a paradox, there is actually a simple explanation for this. When blood vessels in the brain spontaneously constrict, they then begin to dilate in order to oppose this effect and maintain blood flow. It is the dilation that causes the actual pain.
Some migraine sufferers get what is called an ‘aura’. This is characterized as a light object passing across their vision. This can be a kind of glowing white light or it can be a series of flashing lights that fall across the sufferer’s visual field. This aura has been shown to coincide with the constriction of blood vessels which why it is usually the case that the presence of an aura is likely to mean that a migraine is on its way (when the blood vessels then go on to dilate).
As migraines are very much an undiscovered area of neuroscience and medicine, there are relatively few treatments available. Those treatments that are available are somewhat effective, even though many of them are based on theories than fact, and they don’t offer a full solution.
It is for this reason that many people are looking for their own information about migraines and how to treat them effectively. This involved trying to find certain things that trigger their migraines, and looking to avoid them.
What is certain, however, is that migraines are not something that should be dismissed as a mere headache. Some migraine sufferers can be in a debilitated condition for a whole day or even longer. It becomes impossible for them to think, concentrate and go about their day-today life as the pain and the sickness can be so severe.