Most of us have suffered from headachesat certain points in our lives. However, these conditions have comeand gone, disappearing shortly and being mild in terms of pain anddiscomfort. Therefore, headaches are not considered to be a serioushealth problem unless they become recurring, extremely painful or,simply, persistent enough to affect one's daily functioning.
We usually experience headaches once weget exposed to excessive stress or diseases such as common cold orflu. These occurrences commonly result in a dull pain appearing inthe front, on the top or at the sides of the head. Unfortunately, some people are not solucky. Namely, their headaches are much more complicated due to thefact that they are suffering from migraines.
What is Migraine Headache?
Migraine headaches are considered to berecurrent headaches which take place hand-in-hand with some othersymptoms. The pain present during migraines is much more serious thatthat related to regular headaches. Also, migraines appear withcertain symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, photosensitivity or harshreactions to loud noises and strong smells.
When a person experiences a migraineattack, he/she is most commonly unable to function correctly. Thus,children may even skip school and adults may call in sick due tomigraines. Taking into consideration that about 10% of all Americanstudents suffer from migraines, the number of absences from schooldue to this factor can be quite big.
In children, migraines most commonlyappear before the age of 10, making both boys and girls equallysusceptible. Yet, interestingly, after the age of 12, boys are threetimes more prone to developing migraines that girls are.
As far as the causes behind migrainesare concerned, scientists are yet to discover an universal culprit.Until that happens, the situation will be the same as the currentone, with many health experts having their own theories. One of themost plausible ones, however, tells us that the main reason behindmigraines is the narrowing and expanding of the blood vessels insidethe brain, triggering the production of migraine-causing chemicals inthe nerves.
Nevertheless, most people who sufferfrom headaches do not share the triggers with others. Therefore,while some individuals may experience migraines once they eat certaintypes of food, others may undergo the same painful situation due tostress or lack of sleep.
Some other possible situations whichmay lead to the onset of a migraine attack in people who suffer fromthis health problem are menstruation, excessive caffeine consumption,strong spices, fatty and processed food, climatic changes, hormonalimbalance, smoking, sleep pattern disorganization and traveling.
Numerous experts agree that geneticfactors are very important when it comes to the chances of onesuffering from migraines. Basically, if your parents had migraines,you are more likely to have them too.
Either way, migraines may last from 30minutes to several days, making a person's everyday activitiescompromised due to the debilitating pain they may deliver.
CT Scan Can Help Diagnose MigraineHeadache
CT scanning is a method of medicaldiagnostics which uses X-rays sent around one's body in order todevelop images of its inner tissues. This form of scanning anddiagnosis can assist health experts when it comes to finding thereasons behind the patient's migraines.
So, a CT scan can rule out conditionssuch as brain tumors, abscesses, abnormal build-up of fluids in thebrain, blockage of sinuses, injuries or hemorrhage in the brain.Since all of these may possibly be behind migraines, CT scanning caneither diagnose them or rule them out, helping doctors to develop theright treatment plan for the suffering patient.
The scanning of this type is notpainful and lasts from 15 to 60 minutes. Before the scanning, youshould not eat nor drink anything for at least 4 hours. Of course,after and before the scanning, feel free to seek all the informationabout this procedure from your doctor.
Sometimes, prior to the scanning, youmay be given a sedative which might make you feel drowsy and relaxed.Also, you will be asked to wear a hospital gown since metal parts ofthe clothing may interfere with the final CT image. In somesituations, you may even need to be injected with a special type ofdye, allowing the radiologist or some other health experts to monitoryour blood vessels on the CT scan. This form of exposure may lead toa metallic taste in the mouth or flushing. However, if something moreserious affects you, seek medical assistance.
To sum up, migraine headaches areheadaches which appear together with some other symptoms such aslight sensitivity, hallucinations, vomiting etc. They can range frommild to severe, making the process of dealing with everyday tasksimpossible. Therefore, if you notice any of the symptoms related tomigraines, you are advised to seek medical assistance as soon aspossible. Your doctor may perform a CT scan ofyour head in order to diagnose the condition behind your migrainesand approach the problem adequately.