A migraine headache is characterized by strong throbbing pain or pulsating sensations on one side of the brain. It is frequently accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light and sounds. Migraine episodes can last hours or days, and the pain can be severe enough to interfere with regular tasks.
An aura is a warning sign that appears before or with a headache in some people. An aura can involve visual disturbances like light flashes or blind patches, as well as other disturbances like tingling on one side of the face, arm, or leg and difficulties speaking.
While the origins of migraines are not entirely known, heredity and environmental factors appear to have a role.
Changes in the brainstem and its interactions with the trigeminal nerve, which is a primary pain route, may be implicated. Imbalances in brain chemicals, such as serotonin, which helps control pain in your neurological system, might also be to blame.
Researchers are investigating the effect of serotonin in migraines. Other neurotransmitters, such as calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP), can contribute to migraine discomfort.

Migraine triggers
  • Hormonal changes in women. Many women get headaches when their estrogen levels fluctuate, such as before or during menstrual cycles, pregnancy, or menopause.
  • Hormonal drugs, such as oral contraceptives, can potentially exacerbate migraines. However, some women report that using these drugs reduces the frequency of their migraines.
  • Drinks. These include alcohol, particularly wine, and excessive caffeine, such as coffee.
  • Stress. Stress at work or at home might trigger migraines.
  • Sensory stimulation. Migraines can be triggered by bright or flashing lights, as well as loud sounds. Strong odors, such as perfume, paint thinner, and secondhand smoke, can cause headaches in some people.
  • Sleep varies. Sleep deprivation or excessive sleep can cause migraines in certain persons.
  • Physical strain. Intense physical exertion, especially sexual activity, may trigger migraines.
  • The weather changes. A change in the weather or barometric pressure might trigger a migraine.
  • Medications. Oral contraceptives and vasodilators, such as nitroglycerin, can make migraines worse.
  • Foods. Salty and processed meals, as well as aged cheeses, may cause migraines. Skipping meals may also be an option.
  • Food additives. These include aspartame, a sweetener, and monosodium glutamate (MSG), a preservative present in many foods.
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