Headaches can occur for anyone from time to time. For some people, the headache may be more severe than normal, and can be associated with feeling unwell, nauseous and sensitive to light. These severe headaches are considered to be migraines, and unfortunately are common and very painful.
Migraines are a neurological disorder that affect women more commonly than men. They cause considerable distress and are quite debilitating, with severe cases impacting quality of life. Migraines cause an intense, throbbing headache, typically one-sided, and are associated with nausea, vomiting and a heightened sensitivity to light and sound. In some cases, they may even increase sensitivity to smell.
Some people experience an associated pre-condition known as an aura. This is most commonly flashing lights or changes in vision occurring up to two days before the migraine. Migraines may last a few hours to a couple of days, with a rare form of migraine lasting longer than 72 hours.
Migraines can be aggravated by some foods, drinks and physical activity, and hormonal factors may play a part in the higher incidence of migraine in women. Migraine can occur at any age but occurs most commonly in people’s twenties and thirties. Frequent, or chronic, migraine has been linked with anxiety, depression, panic disorders and stroke.
A typical migraine may begin with distorted vision, especially flashing lights, referred to as an aura. This happens an hour or so before the general migraine symptoms, although it can begin up to two days before. People often feel unwell for a couple of days before a migraine.
Aura symptoms may include:
- Flashing or flickering lights
- Blurred vision, even temporary blindness
- Pins and needles in the face, hands or arms, sometimes with numbness
- Slurred speech
- Dysfunctional co-ordination and concentration
Not everyone experiences the aura, migraine may strike with no warning at all. Migraine can occur at any time.
Typically, a one-sided severe headache, pulsing or throbbing. Nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise is common. The onset may be signaled by an aura. Some people get a sense an attack is imminent, signs of this include tiredness, food cravings, lack of concentration and general irritability.
Migraine symptoms may include:
- Severe headache lasting up to 72 hours (rarely longer)
- Throbbing or pulsating pain, usually in one side of the head
- The condition is exacerbated by physical activity
- Nausea and vomiting
- Increased sensitivity to light, noise, and rarely, smell
Another common headache is the tension headache. This is milder and typically experienced on both sides of the head. A tension headache tends to be a tightening sensation, not the pulsing or throbbing of a migraine. Nausea is not associated with tension headaches. These headaches are not made worse by physical activity.
HOW COMMON ARE MIGRAINES?
Migraine is very common. They are thought to affect two to three million Australians. Women are three times more susceptible than men. Migraine is most common in the twenties and thirties, becoming less common in the forties and older. Children do suffer migraine. About fifty percent of people who suffer migraine, have a family history of the condition.
WHAT CAUSES MIGRAINES?
The cause of migraine is unknown. Current research is considering the effect of low levels of serotonin and its effect on blood vessels in the brain. There is evidence that migraine runs in families but is not limited to this potential genetic factor.
Women may experience migraine at the time of their periods, during pregnancy and menopause. Migraine has also been linked to the use of oral contraceptives or hormone replacement therapy (HRT), and may be triggered by some food, drinks and environmental conditions.
Some commonly reported triggers:
- Alcohol, especially red wine and beer
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG), chocolate and cheese
- Not drinking enough water
- Skipping meals
- Hormonal changes
- Contraceptive pill for women
- Changes in weather
- Sleep disturbance
- Poor posture, tension in the neck and shoulders
- Bright or flickering lights
- Loud noises
Less commonly reported triggers include:
- High blood pressure
- Eye strain
- Sleeping tablets
Natural Help for Migraines
At Brain Training Australia™ we off Neurofeedback Brain Training for clients opting for a safe, natural and drug-free approach for clients suffering from migraines to retrain brain activity and to optimise brain functionality.
Your first step is to get in contact with us.
All new clients receive a free, complementary and no obligation 15-minute consult with a dedicated member of our team. If you’re on the fence, wondering if Neurofeedback Brain Training is right for you, then this is a really good place to start.
If you are ready to get started then you can just book in your First Appointment and get started straight away.
The team at Brain Training Australia™ recognise the unique qualities of all our clients and will work closely with you to personalise your Brain Training Program so that you can achieve your goals of optimal mental processes.
We look forward to helping you live a much richer, happier and healthier life.