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Migraine causes health impacts, in addition to the loss of daily productivity

Headache, sensitivity to light, smells or noises, nausea and vomiting, visual discomfort, tingling and dizziness. These are just some of the symptoms experienced by those who suffer from migraine a neurological, genetic and chronic disease.

Recent data released by the World Health Organization (WHO) point to migraine as the second leading cause of disability worldwide, and the first in Western European countries and Australia.

Migraine is defined by a headache throbbing, on one or both sides of the head. In cluster headache, the strong pain is throbbing on only one side of the head, and may affect the front of the skull, face and back of the eyes, further increasing the feeling of malaise.

Migraines can be classified in different ways. Basically, it is possible to separate migraine with aura and without aura, according to experts.

The aura form affects approximately 20% of people. They have difficulty seeing, such as blurring of a field of view, the presence of bright spots, or difficulty focusing an image.

Other symptoms are tingling in the arms that go up to the face or speech difficulties. Treatment of this type of migraine requires a multidisciplinary team, which may include psychiatric professionals.

Types of headaches

Neurologist Gabriel Kubota, coordinator of the Pain Center at Hospital das Clínicas and member of the headache group at the Faculty of Medicine of the University of São Paulo (USP), explains that headaches can be divided into two large groups: primary and secondary.

“Secondary headaches are a consequence, a symptom of another disease or condition. For example: prolonged fasting, alcohol consumption, tooth decay, sinusitis, eye problems or more serious diseases such as tumors, venous thrombosis, aneurysm and other situations”, says Kubota, in a statement.

Primary headache can be classified as headache, tension type, and migraine – throbbing pain on one side of the head. Primary headaches, together, correspond to the second most prevalent medical condition in the world population, generating a significant impact.

Migraine alone affects more than 1 billion people worldwide, with 20% to 30% women and 6% to 15% of all men. Expenses can be direct, in the use of health resources, or indirectly due to absences from work.

According to Kubota, it is estimated that Brazil, each year, loses around R$ 67 billion in expenses, due to the loss of productivity related to migraine. The best way to deal with the problem is to see a doctor, who will be able to direct the best form of treatment according to the patient’s individual assessment.

The disease affects two to three women for every man, starting around 20 to 30 years of age, and genetics may be one of the factors in its cause.

“The children of people who have migraines are twice as likely to also have the disease. But it is worth mentioning that genetics can increase or decrease the risk, but it is not absolute. Having someone in the family with migraines does not mean that you will also have it, and the fact that no one in the family has it does not mean that you will not have it”, points out the expert.

Physical examinations and the life context of each patient allow differentiating the types of headache. People who have the migraine form, for example, may have the problem triggered by strong smells. The symptoms are very characteristic: the pain is moderate to severe, with a pulsating aspect, reaching one side of the head.

The problem can cause nausea and vomiting, as well as intolerance to light and sounds. The premenstrual period is another factor that triggers pain, which can last from four to 72 hours. Those who live with chronic migraines may experience attacks for more than 15 days a month for at least three months.

Treatment for secondary headache, which is the result of some disease, will improve with treatment of the problem. For example, a person with sinusitis, thrombosis, toothache will get better with a solution to the disorder. Primary headache, also known as migraine, has no cure and has a different treatment.

(With information from Simone Lemos, from Jornal da USP)

Source: CNN Brasil

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