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    A migraine is a very painful type of headache. It usually begins slowly, worsens over minutes to hours and resolves slowly at the end of the attack. People who get migraines often describe the pain as dull, deep and steady which turns into a throbbing headache as it worsens. The headaches are usually worse on one side of the head. 

    Migraine headaches often come with nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light and noise. Some people may have aura symptoms before a migraine. Having aura, or visual disturbances, is normally considered a “warning sign” that a migraine is coming. Aura may include flashing lights or bright spots, zigzag lines, changes in vision, numbness or tingling in the fingers of one hand, lips, tongue, or lower face. 

    Migraine attacks can be caused by: 

    •  Stress 
    •  Menstrual periods 
    •  Physical exertion 
    •  Low energy, lack of sleep 
    •  Hunger 
    •  Head injury 
    •  Certain food or drinks that contain ingredients such as nitrites, glutamate, aspartate, tyramine 
    •  Certain medicines such as birth control pills 
    •  Perfumes, cigarettes and chemicals with a strong odor 

    What you can do 

    •  Drink water to avoid dehydration, especially if you are vomiting 
    •  Rest in a dark, quiet room 
    •  Place a piece of cool cloth on your head 

    You can prevent migraine attacks 

    •  Avoid foods and situations that cause your migraines 
    •  Avoid smoking 
    •  Avoid alcohol 
    •  Get plenty of sleep each night 
    •  Learn to relax and reduce stress 

    When to see a doctor 

    •  You are having speech, vision or movement problems or loss of balance 
    •  Your headaches are worse when lying down 
    •  Treatments that once worked are no longer helpful 
    •  Headache patterns or pain change 
    •  The headache starts very suddenly 

    Updated in Jun 2023

    This article does not take the place of talking to your doctor or pharmacist. People with special health needs such as babies, children below 12 year old, elderly and pregnant ladies should see a doctor instead of self-treatment. Always read the instructions and warnings on the package before taking any medicine

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