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Migraine Awareness Week 2020

3rd, September 2020

We will all experience a headache at some point in our lives however, suffering from migraines can be a disabling lifetime condition.

Migraine Awareness Week (MAW) is an annual campaign run by the charity The Migraine Trust to help raise awareness of the health condition and reduce stigma.

Facts & Figures

  • 1 in 7 of us will suffer from migraines.
  • Migraines are the third most common, and sixth most disabling disease in the world although the understanding of the condition is still low.
  • Migraines are more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.
  • Research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

What is a Migraine?

Migraine is a complex condition with a wide variety of symptoms, usually consisting of a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. Other symptoms include feeling sick, being sick and increased sensitivity to light or sound. Many people need to lie still for several hours in darkened spaces, and attacks can last from 4 to 72 hours. The symptoms vary with individuals and can be very frightening for them.

Types of Migraines

There are several types of migraine, which include:

  • Migraine with aura - where there are specific warning signs just before the migraine begins, such as seeing flashing lights.
  • Migraine without aura - the most common type, where the migraine happens without the specific warning signs.
  • Migraine aura without headache, also known as silent migraine - where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced, but a headache does not develop.

What causes Migraines?  

  • Migraines tend to run in families
  • Certain foods or drink 
  • Stress
  • Changes in hormones

To identify triggers, it is usually a good idea to keep track of what you eat, drink, or by looking at external factors such as the weather and room temperature which can help pinpoint the cause of a migraine. 

What treatment is available for Migraines?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for Migraines, however over the counter painkillers can help give some relief.
 
At Kingsbridge Private Hospital, Belfast, our chronic pain specialists will take a full history, consider any ‘red flags’ that may be present and decide if any further investigations are necessary.
 
You will then get a plan for the management of your headache / facial pain, tailored for your own particular needs.
 
Treatments at Kingsbridge Private Hospital that may be offered for your headache include:

  • Appropriate pharmacotherapy - using a wide range of drugs including tricyclic antidepressants (TCA’s), anti-epileptic drugs (AED’s), tryptans and NSAID’s (anti-inflammatory drugs)
  • Botulinum Toxin A (Botox) treatment (Approved for the treatment of chronic migraine)
  • Radiofrequency (RF) treatment for trigeminal neuralgia
  • Physiotherapy for cervicogenic headache
  • Cognito-behavioural therapies - can help with coping and acceptance

For further information on Headaches and Facial Pain please click here
 
If you have any concerns, you can contact us by booking an appointment through our Online Booking Portal.
 
Sources
https://www.migrainetrust.org/
https://www.parenta.com/2020/09/01/migraine-awareness-week/
https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/migraine/


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