Possible Migraine headache in a 24 years old woman


Q: I am 24 year old. I have headache since childhood. I have taken scans and MRIs and didn't discover any problems with the brain. But headache never goes. I have headache almost everyday. I cannot rest my head down when i have a headache. It's like the pain is flowing between either sides if i put my head down. Holding my nose between my eyes makes me feel better. It is single sided and most times on my left side. And it hurts my left eye badly. Most of the times headache is accompanied by pain in the neck(where it joins the spine).. I sometimes feel a swelling in my neck near my shoulders... That side of my face hurts... the pain is severe behind my ears... I hate light and sound when i have headache. I feel nauseous as the headache intensifies. Sleeping does not help. The pain is pulsating. I can feel my pulse all over the face with a touch of my finger. What headache is this and what can help me?


A:    Possibly the headache correspond with a Migraine episode and you need a consultation with a Neurologist for treatment prescription. In general, Migraine headaches are one of the most common problems seen in emergency departments and doctors' offices. Migraines are due to changes in the brain and surrounding blood vessels. Migraine headaches typically last from 4-72 hours and vary in frequency from daily to less than 1 per year. Migraine affects about 15% of the population. Three times as many women as men have migraines. More than 80% of people with migraines (called migraineurs) have other members in the family who have them too. Common Migraine accounts for 80% of migraines and these are more related with stress and tension. Classic migraines are usually much more severe than common migraines. A variety of warnings can come before a migraine. These may consist of a change in mood (for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed) or a subtle change of sensation (for example, a funny taste or smell). Fatigue and muscle tension are also common. Aura: This is commonly a visual disturbance that precedes the headache phase. Some migraineurs develop blind spots (called scotomas or lose vision on one side (hemianopsia).  Although migraine pain usually appears on one side of the head, 30-40% of migraines occur on both sides. Throbbing pain may be present. More than 80% of migraineurs feel nauseated, and some vomit. About 70% become sensitive to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia). This phase may last 4-72 hours. Sometimes even if untreated, the pain usually goes away with sleep.  Other signs of the migraine (for example, inability to eat, problems with concentration, or fatigue) may linger after the pain has disappeared.

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