Migraine causes moderate to severe episodic pain to one side of the head which sufferers often describe as throbbing or hammering, lasting hours or even days, but with total freedom of pain between attacks. The onset of migraine may be accompanied by visual disturbances - an 'aura' (this affects about 20% of people). The headache is normally worsened by movement or routine physical activity.The episode may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, confusion and, in a few cases, temporary paralysis and loss of speech. Sensitivity to light, noise and strong smells is frequently reported.
It is thought that the symptoms are caused by changes in the blood vessels in the head, but it is still not known exactly why these changes take place. Migraine is hereditary in approximately 60% of cases, and all age groups suffer, from children as young as 12 months. Three times more women than men get migraine, mainly due to hormonal changes. Treatment will depend on the frequency of the migraine.
Migraine Association of Ireland
All Hollows College
work Tel: +353 (0)1 806 4121
work fax Fax: +353 (0)1 806 4122
work Helpline: 1850 200 378
The Migraine Association of Ireland is dedicated to improving the quality of life for people with migraine. It provides information support and reassurance for people with migraine. It also aims to increase awareness of migraine throughout Irish society and supports research into the condition and its treatments.