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Migrane

A migraine is usually a moderate or severe headache felt as a throbbing pain on one side of the head. It’s a common condition affecting 1/5 women and 1/15 men. They usually begin in early adulthood, and years may pass between episodes.

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Common Symptoms

  • feeling sick
  • being sick
  • increased sensitivity to light and sound

Types of migraine include:

  • migraine with aura – there are specific warning signs before the migraine starts, e.g. seeing flashing lights
  • migraine without aura – the most common type, where there are no specific warning signs
  • migraine aura without headache (silent migraine) – where an aura or other migraine symptoms are experienced but a headache does not develop

Treatment

There’s no cure, but treatment is available to reduce the symptoms:

  • Painkillers – over the counter medicine such as paracetamol and ibuprofen
  • Triptans – medicines that can help reverse the changes in the brain that may cause migraines
  • Anti-emetics – medicines often used to relieve peoples feeling of sickness (nausea) or being sick
  • Sleeping or lying in a darkened room can help
  • Eye check
  • Reducing screen time

When should I book a GP?

You have frequent or severe migraine symptoms (more than 5 days a month) even if they can be controlled with painkillers as you may benefit from preventative treatment

Seek emergency care from 111 or 999 if:

  • You have paralysis or weakness in one or both arms or one side of the face
  • Have slurred or garbled speech
  • You experience a sudden agonising headache resulting in severe pain unlike anything experienced before
  • You have a headache, high temperature (fever), stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash
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