Say goodbye to your headache or migraine with a specialist from Mediclinic City Hospital in Dubai.
19 September 2021| Last updated on 21 September 2021
What is a migraine?
Migraine, as per the World Health Organization, is the second most disabling illness in the world (GBP 2019), in terms of years lost due to disability.
It's reported than more than 20 million migraine attacks occur every day. It's also, unfortunately, one of the most commonly misdiagnosed medical conditions despite more than 1 billion people worldwide suffering from it, and it ends up being underdiagnosed and undertreated.
Here are some facts about migraine that will help create awareness about this condition and eliminate the social stigma that prevents patients from reaching out for the much needed help and treatment in the UAE.
1. Migraine is much more than a bad headache
Headache is just one aspect of migraine that increases in intensity until one side of your head throbs or pulses to an extent that pain becomes unbearable and in some cases both sides are affected which lasts between four to 72 hours.
Migraine can also appear without severe head pain but can present other disabling symptoms such as visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, and tingling or numbness in the extremities or face.
2. Migraine can also come with more complex symptoms, called 'aura'
Migraine can develop through four stages. The second stage is known as 'aura' and can present with a group of sensory, motor and speech symptoms that precedes the pain, appearing as a warning sign of the impending migraine painful attack, lasting from minimum five minutes up to one hour.
However, only 15 to 20% sufferers will experience aura in form of visual disturbance such as light flashes, bright spots, blind spots, or wavy, zigzag lines. And only about 15% of patients vomit. Nausea, however, is a common migraine symptom, as is sensitivity to light and dizziness.
3. Migraine can be episodic or chronic
The difference between both of these type of migraines depends on the frequency.
Episodic migraine sufferers have fewer than 14 headaches per month for three months, however, chronic migraine sufferers experience headaches 15 days or more per month. Episodic migraine can increase over the course of months or years to become chronic migraine.
4. Migraine is more common in women but it affects people of all ages
Migraine is three times more common in women than men.
After puberty, estrogen fluctuations in the female body make women more susceptible to migraines than men. On the other hand, one out of every 20 children suffer from migraine.
According to one estimate, globally around 10% of the children between the ages of 5-15 suffer from it. The risk of children having migraine increases by 50% if one parent suffers from migraine and 75% if both are sufferers of this disorder.
5. Migraine can be prevented
There are two main types of treatment / management approaches for migraine in Dubai:
These are the medications that work best when taken at the first sign of migraine, when you are still feeling mild pain. This helps to decrease both migraine symptoms and the throbbing pain.
These include painkillers to more specialised molecules dedicated to stop migraine such as triptans, ditans and gepants, as per medical advice.
Specific medications, prescribed by physicians when the symptoms are more severe, more frequent, to the point of interfering with routine activities and daily life activities (productivity at work, attending school, housekeeping, leisure activities, etc.).
FDA and EMA have approved several medicines that either reset the migraine generating centre, or block it preventing migraine from developing with daily oral tablets, nerve blocks, once monthly subcutaneous injectables and quarterly per year intravenous antibodies and BOTOX, all used as prophylactic medications.
Also non-pharmacological treatment can be also be considered, such as physiotherapy, biofeedback, acupuncture and non-invasive neuro-stimulation.
All these treatments and management options are now available at Mediclinic City Hospital and are offered by experienced their consultant neurologist and headache specialist, Dr. Alessandro Terruzzi.
You can now book your appointment by using the MyMediclinic 24x7 app or contact them below.
Click here for more details on the MyMediclinic 24x7 app.