We are lucky to be born in this era. I know, I know, this statement is difficult to believe with all the lockdowns and restrictions going around due to the coronavirus. However, if you look at the history of illnesses involving the brain and how they used to be treated before, I might just be able to convince you.
To give you a rough idea, one of the treatment options that were availed to those suffering from mental illness was frontal lobotomy. Frontal lobotomy is a neurosurgical procedure that is performed to severe nerve pathways thus disrupting connections between certain parts of the brain. To briefly explain, certain instruments were forced through the back of their eye to reach the frontal lobe and then severe connections. In the 1930s, this procedure was thought to help cure those suffering from conditions such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and manic depression. Most of the people who underwent the procedure had terrible side effects such as apathy afterwards while some died due to the procedure. Although many also claim it was one of the treatment options for migraines, this is largely contested. As crazy as it may sound, this was allowed back then mostly because there was no other treatment option. Nonetheless most agree that the disadvantages greatly outweigh the perceived benefits and thus the procedure is banned in most countries in the world. Lucky for us, there are many management options for migraines currently, most of which are non-invasive. But what is a migraine?
A migraine is a headache that varies in intensity from person to person but is mostly severe. Most people experience throbbing pain on one side of the head. The duration varies from hours to days and is accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Often one would experience an aura, which is a warning sign that occurs before the headache. It could also include visual disturbances, difficulty in speaking, having pins and needles sensations in the limbs and auditory hallucinations.
Currently there is no specific cause of migraines but it is argued to be as a result of an interplay between genetic and environmental factors. Nonetheless, there are certain things that are known to trigger migraines. These include: stress, hormonal changes in women, changes in sleep routine, changes in weather and drinks such as wine.
Not every headache equals a migraine but frequent headaches that are accompanied by nausea and vomiting for long durations are a sign that one needs to see their doctor. It is important that you take note of how often the headaches come, any symptoms that may precede the headache and for how long the headache lasts. This will help the doctor make a proper diagnosis and rule out any other possible causes. If confirmed, there are various treatment options which the doctor may prescribe and discuss with you. Do not suffer in silence, seek help today!