Headaches and Migraines in Chalfont, PA
Migraine headaches in the Philadelphia Suburbs are a very severe form of headache, and they’re accompanied by a number of symptoms. Commonly referred to as the migraine syndrome, sufferers typically experience dizziness, muscle contraction, vision problems, aura, swelling, redness, tearing of the eyes, irritably, nausea, constipation, vomiting, or diarrhea.
The symptoms usual precede the migraine, while the migraine itself may last anywhere from minutes to days. The pain is commonly felt in the area of the temple, however it can also be present in the neck, face and head. The severity of the pain itself can range from minimal to excruciating.
Cluster headaches are a close variation of migraine headaches, and come on suddenly and intensely. At the onset of a cluster headache, sufferers feel a throbbing pain high in their nostril that quickly spreads behind the eye that’s on the same side where the pain originated. The pain can sometimes spread to the forehead as well. The headaches occur one or more times each day in clusters of weeks or months, then subside abruptly.
The structures of the head that are pain-sensitive are responsible for putting the “ache” in “headache”. These structures are the cerebral arteries, tissues that surround the veins, the dura mata, and cranial nerves. If any of these components are aggravated in any way, a headache can easily result.
There are two types of migraines: common and classical. Classical migraines follow numbness, tingling, or an aura. An aura can be comprised of squiggly lines, flashes of light, or halo effects. Common migraines share none of the aura symptoms associated with classical migraines, and are more typically experienced by sufferers by a ratio of 3:1.
In the U.S., 28 million people suffer from migraine headaches. As well, millions do not receive any form of treatment. At first, scientists believed the cause of migraines were attributed to enlarged or dilated blood vessels. Recently, imaging equipment has given them the ability to examine the brains of sufferers as they experience a migraine. Consequently, scientists have discovered that migraine patients have peculiarly excitable neurons and brain nerve cells.
Additionally, researchers have recently noted abrupt bursts of cortical activity typically in the occipital lobes prior to a migraine. After the occipital lobe increases its firing frequency, or has a spurt of activity, a period of depressed activity throughout the brain follows. The subsequent pain originates from the activation of the brain stem and/or inflamed blood vessels.
I perform detailed neurological examinations on patients to locate any malfunctioning component of the nervous system. With those suffering from headaches or migraines, I commonly find elevated mesencephalic output. High mesencephalic output causes an elevated heart rate, difficulty sleeping, infection of the urinary tract, increased body heat, sensitivity to light, and sweating. In addition, a reduced output of the cerebellum, which controls involuntary spinal musculature and is located at the back of the brain, is also commonly found.
Regardless of a patient’s condition, I understand the vital necessity of performing a complete exam in order to get to the source of the problem.
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