How Migraines with Aura Differ from Common Migraines

Migraines with aura can make anyone suffer miserably. Living with migraines makes you endure sudden bouts of pounding and throbbing head pain on either side of the head. You can also experience other uncomfortable symptoms:

  • Visual disturbances
  • Dizziness
  • Supersensitivity to light, sounds, and certain odors
  • Nausea and vomiting

The exact reason for migraines remains unknown in the medical world. Doctors and researches believed that it had something to do with problems of the blood vessels in the head until a recent study disproved that theory. The latest theory suggests that migraines occur due to a malfunction of the central nervous system.

How Migraines with Aura Progress

At the moment, researchers do not know the complete story of what happens in the brain leading up to migraines. They have yet to discover the physical and chemical events occurring in the brain, but they know for sure that a series of biochemical reactions happen to cause inflammation and overexcitement of the trigeminal nerve.

What is the trigeminal nerve?

It is the main pathway that regulates pain sensations in the head and face. Overexcitement of the trigeminal nerve extends to other nerves in the meninges (the membrane that covers and protects the brain) and can lead to pain and other migraine symptoms.

Factors That Contribute to Migraines

These are some of the theories on the possible underlying causes for migraines.

  • Fluctuations in hormones, specifically of estrogen, in women
  • Low levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, and appetite, causing a painful narrowing of blood vessels
  • Inflammation of the maxillary nerve, a branch of the trigeminal nerve that controls sensations in the mouth and nose
  • Deficiency in magnesium which is crucial to nerve function
  • Neuropeptides (protein-like molecules) that cause pain receptors to activate due to inflammation
  • The release of nitric oxide, a chemical that causes blood vessels to dilate by overactive neurons
  • Abnormality in the transportation process of calcium ions from cells, which affects nerve signals

Migraine Triggers to Watch Out For

Any Singapore chiropractor for migraine will tell you that migrane episodes and triggers are unique for every person. A migraine episode is more likely occur if you encounter one of these triggers (sorted by category):

  • Bright lights – direct sunlight, light from an electronic device
  • Loud noises – loud music, construction work
  • Weather changes – temperature changes, humidity, and barometric pressure
  • Strong odors – air fresheners, perfume, and cologne
  • Sleep pattern changes – too much or too little rest
  • Hunger or dehydration
  • Hormonal changes – pregnancy, menstruation, birth control pills, or hormone replacement therapy
  • A dramatic increase or decrease in stress levels
  • Physical activity – moving heavy objects, strenuous exercise
  • Certain foods and chemical additives – aged cheese, alcohol, chocolate, nuts, MSG, artificial sweeteners, processed meats, and caffeine

The One Major Difference of Migraines with Aura

Migraines with aura are similar to common migraines. The one major distinction between them is the presence of an aura, a feeling or sensation that occurs before the actual headache and other symptoms. Migraines with aura account for 35% of all migraine cases. Some people get an aura but do not experience head pain. The aura is linked to the part of the brain that processes sensory signals and is activated by an electrical wave.

Symptoms of Migraines with Aura

You may get warning signs days or hours before you experience a migraine. This is a pre-headache stage and may involve other symptoms:

  • Feeling tired
  • Stiff neck muscles
  • Constipation and diarrhea
  • The urge to urinate more often
  • Being cranky or hyper
  • Cravings for certain foods
  • Yawning repeatedly

An aura starts about an hour or so before the head pain hits. It is more than just distorted vision. It can have an impact on your senses and may include these symptoms:

  • Blind spots
  • Flashing lights
  • Seeing zigzag patterns
  • Partial vision loss
  • Tingling, numbness, or a prickling feeling
  • Problems with speech
  • Seeing, hearing, or smelling things that are not there

On average, an aura lasts for less than an hour and may overlap with the headache. Interestingly, people with migraines have a higher chance of developing heart disease and stroke, especially those who experience migraines with aura. The reason for this is unclear. Migraine sufferers also often have high cholesterol and high blood pressure.

The Right Treatment for Your Migraines

Medication is the standard method suggested to care for migraines, but this approach only keeps the pain at bay for a moment. Bouts of migraines may still come back to strike any time. We believe getting to the root cause of migraines is always the right treatment plan. The good news is there’s a way to decrease the frequency and severity of migraines, and sometimes eliminate them altogether.

A study has reported that a misalignment in the bones of the upper neck can be a source of migraines. This theory is highly possible for several reasons. For one thing, a misalignment in this area of the upper cervical spine puts the brainstem under pressure, causing it to send distorted signals to the brain. Another issue that can result in migraines is the obstruction of proper blood and cerebrospinal fluid flow to and from the brain. The misalignment blocks their flow, irritating the nerves and muscles, further resulting in inflammation and headache.

These problems can be corrected when you visit our chiropractic clinic. Our chiropractor for migraines in Singapore will assess your neck using imaging and scientific examinations to determine if there is a misalignment. We then employ upper cervical chiropractic care, a gentle technique using light pressure to realign the bones of the neck naturally. Our method has treated many cases of migraines after just a couple of adjustments. Schedule a consultation with us to find relief from your migraines.

Since 2013, Upper Cervical Chiropractor, Dr. Shaan Rai helped patients achieve greater health, relocating to Singapore in 2016 and founding Vitality Chiropractic Centres. He has an impressive track record in providing relief and solutions for people who experience nerve system problems, such as headaches, migraines, dizziness, vertigo or neurological conditions.

Take your life back.

For a Complimentary, no-obligation call with the Doctor or to book a Consultation, call +65 8438 9550 or email to find out if we can help you at our Chiropractic Clinic in Singapore.

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