Though migraines are more common in women, an estimated 9% of men are also regular sufferers. The common perception that migraines are a female only condition can often prevent men from seeking medical support for their condition.
Migraine is a complex neurological condition and headache is just one symptom of the condition. Other symptoms include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, confusion and in rare cases, temporary paralysis and loss of speech. Sensitivity to light, noise and strong smells is also frequently reported.
20% of people suffer from aura, which are mainly visual disturbances e.g. blind spots, flashing lights and zig-zag patterns. Aura can also present as pins and needles on one side, slurring of speech, muscular weakness, loss of co-ordination and confusion.
When migraine sufferers self-medicate with over the counter medications it can give rise to Medication Overuse Headache. This manifests as a dull, constant headache which is often present in the morning. If you are taking pain medications of any type, for 10 days every month, you may be at risk of Medication Overuse Headache. You should talk to your GP or pharmacist to devise a more effective pain management plan for your migraines. There are migraine specific prescription-only medications, Triptans, which may help to abort your migraine attacks.
The key to preventing and controlling your migraines is to understand why they occur and the most effective way to do this is to keep a migraine diary and track your triggers. The Migraine Association can send you a migraine diary or there are apps such as Migraine Buddy and Curelator that can help you also.
You can find out about migraine in men and common triggers in the male population here. https://www.migraine.ie/men-and-migraine/
If you would like to receive a migraine diary or if you would like advice and support call 1850 200 378.