Most patients go undiagnosed due to significant gap in knowledge of migraine in India

KOLKATA, June 27: There is a significant gap in knowledge of migraine in India due to which most patients go undiagnosed, according to Dr Rahul Soni, Associate Professor, Classified Specialist Medicine and Neurologist, Kolkata.
Migraine is a chronic neurological disorder that has different levels of frequency, severity, and impact on the quality of a patient’s life.
Owing to the lack of awareness around the condition, about 40 per cent of the patients in India seldom fail to recognise these symptoms which leads to a delay in diagnosis or sometimes even a misdiagnosis.
Patients end up consulting with a general physician or other doctors for issues related to eyes, digestion, or ENT related problems. It is important to understand early symptoms of the disease and keep track of one’s headache timeline, to intervene at an early stage and find the correct diagnosis.
Reaching out to a specialist, that is a neurologist, can be truly beneficial for patients suffering from migraine. A neurologist can help dive deeper into the intricacies of the condition and find solutions towards managing it.
Dr Rahul Soni, Associate Professor, Classified Specialist Medicine and Neurologist, Kolkata, says, There is a significant gap in knowledge of migraine in India due to which most patients go undiagnosed.
People should be able to talk about it and make each other aware of the signs and symptoms. Several patients are diagnosed with tension type headaches because the severity of their migraine pains overlaps with the aura of the condition.”
“Migraine is preventable but not entirely curable. It will forever remain as an allergy such as Asthma, which emerges with certain triggers or factors. When the patient is exposed to these triggers, it becomes taxing for them to control the condition.
Therefore, it is key to understand symptoms, and timely intervene the condition with accurate diagnosis. They need to take prophylactic medicines to prevent attacks of migraines. They can also abort migraine with abortive medication.
Migraine headaches or attacks usually last about 4-5 hours in case of a mild migraine. Although gradually, if not treated in time, this may further grow into chronic attacks of 72 hours and/ or more.
To be able to treat the disorder in time, one must understand what symptoms to look out for and what triggers to avoid.
Many patients describe migraine pain as a throbbing one, but it can also come in slow and steady. Other than excruciating and painful headaches, migraine can be identified by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, numbness, photophobia, phonophobia etc.
Once these symptoms start to surface, one must get checked for migraine. The pain caused by migraine can also grow towards the shoulders and cause unrest.
Avoiding triggers like loud and noisy places, excessive heat/ sunlight, unhealthy/ unhygienic food can be significantly helpful in curbing the pains that migraine could cause.
The triggers of migraine may vary from patient to patient, but it is important to still be mindful of them.
As a disorder that is chronic in nature, migraine is not curable. However, a great deal of the disorder can be managed and controlled by adhering to treatment and lifestyle changes. Consultation with a neurologist is of utmost importance towards managing the condition.
A neurologist is the only specialist who can help the patient understand what migraine really is and help derive a holistic treatment approach. With a combination of both medicinal drugs and lifestyle changes, migraine can be significantly controlled.
One must try to inculcate a lifestyle where they sleep on time, avoid anything that does not align with their energy, eat good food, keep hydrated, and exercise regularly.
It is also very helpful to make notes of one’s triggers, the environment conditions that lead to headaches, meals consumed etc. This helps the specialist and the patient look at the condition from a bird’s eye view.
Doing so can help understand a patients’ condition in a personalized manner and thereby allow the doctor to help find the best possible treatment for their patient. (UNI)