The Colombian Neurology Association offers five keys to better understanding migraines, a condition that affects nearly five million Colombians.
- Age: While this condition is more common in adults, it can also occur in the very young or very old: children under age 10 and adults over age 60.
- Gender: Both men and women can suffer from migraines, however this condition is more common in women due to their levels of estrogen, the main hormone found in women.
- Other symptoms, besides a headache: Migraines generally come with nausea and vomiting, together with intolerance to light and intense sounds. In some patients, a phenomenon known as an “aura” occurs (the appearance of flashing or shimmering lights), parts of the body may fall asleep and they may experience difficulties speaking.
- Duration: Symptoms may last between 4 and 72 hours. Auras usually last between 5 and 60 minutes. If they go on for longer, it is important to rule out whether these are migraine-related complications or not.
- Treating migraines at home: During a migraine attack, the recommendation is to go to a dark and quiet place. You can also occasionally take an over-the-counter pain reliever.
If you notice that these attacks are frequent and medication is needed several times a week, see a doctor.