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The Common Migraine: Symptoms, Prevention and Treatment

The common migraine, also known as Migraine without Aura, is a neurological disease which causes the affected person to experience recurrent and sometimes debilitating headaches. It is called “without aura” because unlike the classic migraine (with aura) the person experiencing the headache does not experience any visual or sensory disturbances that signal the onset of the migraine headache. It is the most common type of migraine, with approximately ¾ of migraine patients suffering from this particular subtype. Migraines in general appear to be hereditary and it seems to affect women more than men. Eleven out of 100 people experience these debilitating headaches, but those are only the cases that have been diagnosed and recorded. There is still a large amount of people suffering from migraines that are yet to be diagnosed.

What Happens during Migraine without Aura?

A person who has been diagnosed with Migraine without aura experiences recurrent headaches with varying degrees of intensity. With common migraines, there are usually no obvious warning symptoms to signal the onset of the headache like with classic migraines. However, in some cases there are subtle tell-tale signs that a headache is developing. This may include a sudden craving for particular foods and neck stiffness and pain which most people do not associate with migraines. At the onset of the headache, a person suffering from common migraines feels a pulsating kind of pain is isolated on one part of the head and is usually worse on the forehead, especially on its sides. The pain can last for as long as 4 to 72 hours and can come with a host of other symptoms including, sensitivity to light, sound, and odors, as well as nausea, vomiting, dizzy spells, fatigue, and loss of appetite. After the pain of the headache has subsided, a person may continue to feel pain in the neck area and may feel drained of energy, making it more difficult to fully recover from the headache.

How are Common Migraines Treated?

There is no cure for migraines; however, its symptoms can be treated and managed, and to some extent, prevented. Often, over-the-counter painkillers can relieve the pain caused by the headaches, especially when taken earlier on or before the actual headache develops. In some cases, the pain can be so severe that these simple analgesics do not work. When this happens, doctors prescribe medications that are made specifically for treating migraines and its symptoms. People who experience migraine episodes are also advised to stay in a dimly-lit room with minimal noise to avoid further aggravation of the headache while waiting for it to subside or for the medicine to kick in. A Migraine without Aura can be prevented by avoiding situations that can trigger migraines. Stress, exposure to loud noises and bright lights, lack of sleep, smoking, allergic reactions, and eating certain foods are just some of the triggers that can cause migraine headaches. Doctors may prescribe drugs like propranolol, beta blockers, and other medications to prevent the onset of a common migraine headache.

Migraines in itself are not life threatening; however, the pain felt during this period can prevent people from performing their routine activities and responsibilities. This is why it is important to consult a doctor if you suspect that you are suffering from headaches caused by Migraine without Aura.