Migraine Awareness Week 2018

2nd-8th September 2018

Migraines are the third most common disease in the world with an estimated global prevalence of 14.7% (that’s around 1 in 7 people).

Migraine Awareness Week (MAW) is an annual awareness campaign hosted by Migraine Trust. The aim of the campaign is to educate the public on the effects of migraines, and to reduce the stigma that surrounds the health condition.

 

What is a migraine?

Simply put, a migraine is a moderate or severe headache on one side of the head. A common health condition, migraine’s affect roughly one in every five women, and one in every fifteen men, usually becoming more prominent in early adulthood.

 

Types of migraines

  • Migraine with aura - a common type of migraine, featuring neurological symptoms such as seeing coloured spots, tunnel vision and flashing lights.
  • Migraine without aura - the most common form of migraine, as 70-90% of people who suffer from the condition experience this type.

 

Symptoms and stages

The most common symptoms of a migraine include throbbing headaches, sensitivity to light and noise, pain in the temples, nausea, vomiting and lethargy.

It can be difficult to predict when a migraine attack will occur. However, you can often track and distinguish a migraine through its defined stages.

These stages include:

  • Premonitory or warning phase
  • The headache or main attack stage
  • Resolution
  • Recovery or postdrome stage

 

Causes of migraines

There is no definitive cause for migraines however, it is understood that genetic and environmental factors appear to play a significant role in the development of migraines.

When studying the origins of migraines, recurring causes are known as ‘migraine triggers’. Some of the most common triggers include:

  • Changes in routine
  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • High caffeine intake
  • Hormonal changes in women
  • Consuming food additives
  • Dehydration

 

Treatment

There is currently no known cure for treating migraines, but there are a number of treatments that are easily accessible:

  • Painkillers - over-the-counter medication such as paracetamol and ibuprofen.
  • Triptans - medication that targets reversing the changes in the brain that may cause migraines.
  • Anti-emetics - medication that aims to reduce the symptoms of vomiting and nausea.

 

Did you know?

  • Migraines are more prevalent than diabetes, epilepsy and asthma combined.
  • Chronic migraines affect approximately 2% of the world population.
  • Migraine affects three-times as many women as men.
  • Research suggests that 3,000 migraine attacks occur every day for each million of the general population. This equates to over 190,000 migraine attacks every day in the UK.

 

How do I get involved?

  1. Follow The Migraine Trust on Facebook and Twitter and spread the word by using the hashtags #letsbeatmigraine and #migraineawarenessweek.
  2. Visit the Migraine Trust YouTube channel and share a video via social media to help get people talking and thinking about migraines.
  3. Challenge your friends and family to take the online migraine quiz.
  4. Become a MAW fundraiser by hosting an event and challenge your local community with a fundraising activity. Click here for event ideas.
  5. Make a donation to Migraine Trust to help fund research, and support those in need of help.

 

If you feel as though you suffer from migraines frequently and need further assistance, please contact your GP. But if you have any concerns regarding your mental or physical wellbeing and want to speak to a wellbeing expert, call our helpline on:

0844 892 2493

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