2) Tingling or numbness in a part of the body such as the arm, hand, leg, or face
3) Sensitivity to sound and lights, which cause the sufferer to want to lie down in a dark, quiet room
The vision issues and tingling are often referred to as an “aura.” The frequency and severity of migraines varies from one person to another, and the majority of sufferers are under the age of 40. These headaches often begin in childhood, adolescence, or the early 20s and continue throughout life.
The underlying causes of migraines are largely unknown. While heredity is believed to play a part, diet, hormonal changes, and environmental factors may also contribute to migraines. For example, women often report more frequent migraines around the time of the menstrual cycle, during pregnancy, or during perimenopause.
Other people report having migraines when they eat certain foods or drink alcohol. The most common foods that may cause problems are chocolate, red wine, and salty foods (MSG). Allergies, medications, lack of sleep, or stress may be involved in some cases. To complicate matters, the majority of the time it is several of these factors contributing at once that produce the migraine.
Brain chemical imbalances are also believed to be a factor. It is known that serotonin levels in the brain are reduced during a migraine. Serotonin is a chemical manufactured by the brain that participates in several functions within the body but primarily carries impulses between the nerve cells. Some of the prescription medications that are so effective for treating a migraine operate on the serotonin system.