Migraine Headache

Chronic Migraines

In addition to being a major cause of pain and suffering, chronic migraine headaches are a significant source of both medical costs and lost productivity.

Chronic migraine is a disorder in which a person experiences migraines for 15 or more days each month. The cause of chronic migraine isn't clear. Some research suggests that it may be due to changes in parts of the brain that controls pain. Chronic migraine is not due to overuse of pain medications. To know more about chronic migraines, read Types of Headache: Chronic Headache.

For migraine headache relief, the patient needs to see the headache specialist to understand the real cause which can be done by maintaining a headache diary and recognizing personal migraine triggers and taking migraine medications accordingly. The headache medicine should be taken when natural headache relief methods fail and headache rack is unbearable.

Treatment of chronic migraine may include certain antidepressants, anti-seizure medications or cardiovascular drugs. However, even with such treatment, migraines may persist.

One of the warning symptoms of chronic migraines is aura, which involves both electrical and chemical changes in the brain as well as a reduction of blood flow to parts of the brain. The aura can affect vision, causing flashing lights, zigzag lines, or a vague awareness that something is wrong. Some people may experience numbness or difficulty forming words or thoughts.

Most patients, however, have no aura with a migraine. Irritability and mood swings may precede a migraine attack. Other symptoms associated with migraines are nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and noise, dizziness, lightheadedness, and throbbing or pulsating pain, sometimes located on only one side of the head.