Nigeria is a country of hustle. We are always on the move, always thinking, always calculating; our minds are always on the next step, the next item, the next thing to do. As a people, we have become accustomed to this way of life that ‘rest’ is generally understood as a polite way of saying ‘lazy’. As with everything else, there are consequences. One of which is headache. Severe chronic headache known as Migraine.

“Migraine is an inherited tendency to have headaches with sensory disturbance. It’s an instability in the way the brain deals with incoming sensory information, and that instability can become influenced by physiological changes like sleep, exercise and hunger.” Professor Peter Goadsby, Professor of Neurology, King’s College London; Director, NIHR-Wellcome Trust Clinical Research Facility, King’s College Hospital London; Trustee of The Migraine Trust.

Simply put, it’s a severe throbbing headache usually on one side of the head. It’s not uncommon, one in five women experience migraine and one in fifteen men. The ‘episode’ can last for hours or days. For many people the main feature is a painful headache. Other symptoms include disturbed vision, sensitivity to light, sound and smells, feeling sick and vomiting.


Migraines often begin in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood. Migraines may progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, headache and post-drome, though you may not experience all stages.


One or two days before a migraine, you may notice subtle changes that warn of an upcoming migraine, including Constipation, Mood changes, from depression to euphoria, Food cravings, Neck stiffness, Increased thirst and urination, Frequent yawning.


Aura may occur before or during migraines. Most people experience migraines without aura. Auras are symptoms of the nervous system. They are usually visual disturbances, such as flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision. Sometimes auras can also be touching sensations (sensory), movement (motor) or speech (verbal) disturbances. Your muscles may get weak, or you may feel as though someone is touching you. Each of these symptoms usually begins gradually, builds up over several minutes and lasts for 20 to 60 minutes. Examples of migraine aura include: Visual phenomena, such as seeing various shapes, bright spots or flashes of light, Vision loss, Pins and needles sensations in an arm or leg, Weakness or numbness in the face or one side of the body, Difficulty speaking, Hearing noises or music, Uncontrollable jerking or other movements.

Sometimes, a migraine with aura may be associated with limb weakness (hemiplegic migraine).


A migraine usually lasts from four to 72 hours if untreated. The frequency with which headaches occur varies from person to person. Migraines may be rare, or strike several times a month. During a migraine, you may experience Pain on one side or both sides of your head, Pain that feels throbbing or pulsing, Sensitivity to light, sounds and sometimes smells and touch, Nausea and vomiting, Blurred vision, Lightheadedness, sometimes followed by fainting.


The final phase, known as post-drome, occurs after a migraine attack. You may feel drained and washed out, while some people feel elated. For about 24 hours, you may also experience Confusion, Moodiness, Dizziness, Weakness, Sensitivity to light and sound.

Courtesy: Mayoclinic

Written by : Oghosa osadebamwem

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