Migraine is a rather severe throbbing headache at one side of the head, often with nausea, vomiting and hypersensitivity to light and sound. It comes in attacks that can last for part of the day to three days. Due to the severity of the symptoms, it is often impossible to function well at school or work. Migraine falls under the heading of ‘headache’.


Migraine is caused by contracting and dilating of blood vessels in the head. Substances that transfer nerve impulses in the brains (neurotransmitters) probably play a major role. Why one person has more frequently or more symptoms than the other, is not clear. It is true that a person is more likely to suffer from migraine as the condition also occurs in the family. What can trigger a migraine attack is individual. The most common factors are:


The signs and symptoms of migraine are:

Flashes of light, blurred vision, black spots before the eyes, speech disorders, tingling and limpness sometimes precede the headache.


The diagnosis of migraine is made on the basis of the symptoms the patient has. If the headache proceeds according to a typical pattern, the diagnosis is quickly clear. In special cases, additional examination takes place, such as a CT or MRI scan.


The treatment of migraine is made up of regimens and medications. The regimens are: regular sleeping, eating and exercising, avoiding the use of alcohol, caffeine and aspartame (sweetener) and ensure sufficient relaxation.
There are two types of medications for migraine attacks:


For some patients, migraine is an occasional, tolerable inconvenience. For others it’s a devastating disease, resulting in frequent periods of reduced capacity, loss of productivity and seriously decreased quality of life. Therefore, treatment is based on the frequency, duration and severity of the attacks. A thorough explanation of the disease helps patients to understand that, although migraine cannot be cured, it can be well managed so that they can better participate in the treatment.