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  What is Migraine? Home >> Migraine >> Features  

A typical episode of migraine is a gradual build-up of a severe throbbing headache starting on one side of the head that can later become generalized. The headache recurs at varying intervals and is often accompanied by nausea or vomiting. There may be hypersensitivity to light and sound.

Migraine attacks follow predictable phases. There is the prodromal phase where there are warning signals of the impending attack, followed by the headache phase, where the head pain is accompanied by other symptoms like nausea, vomiting, light and sound hypersensitivity and finally the resolution phase, characterised by extreme fatigue - all this can last for anywhere between 4 - 72 hours. Attacks tend to vary in their severity and presentation in the same individual, as well as from individual to individual.

80% of migraineurs have what is called ‘Common Migraine’ or ‘Migraine without aura’. The less common type is called ‘Classic Migraine’ or ‘Migraine with aura’. Here the aura or neurological accompaniment, may last from a few minutes up to an hour and can take the form of disturbed vision or affected speech, or numbness or 'pins and needles' in the limbs. There are other varieties of migraine which, however, are seen rarely.
Headache Specialists have noticed that some people, who begin with occasional attacks of typical migraine, eventually go on to experience more frequent, headaches that occur on a daily basis. This condition, which, in some cases, appears to be a natural progression of the disorder and which, in some cases can occur due to overconsumption of painkillers that contain caffeine or codeine, or due to depression, is now called "Chronic Migraine". This condition cannot be managed with self-treatment and will definitely need expert medical help.
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