What are migraines?

A migraine isn’t just a bad headache. It’s an extremely disarming collection of neurological symptoms that usually contains a severe throbbing recurring pain on one side of the head. In 1/3 of migraine attacks, both sides are affected. Attacks can last between 4 and 72 hours. There are different types of migraines. Migraine is a moving target: symptoms can change from one attack to the next, and many sufferers have more than one type. Most people who have a migraine attack begin by treating themselves with over-the-counter medications. Sufferers sometimes consult a doctor as symptoms become more severe and disabling, but more than half of all migraine sufferers are never diagnosed. Migraine is a diagnosis of exclusion – it’s diagnosed by a process of elimination because there’s not yet a test or biomarker to show its present. Migraine is diagnosed by analyzing the symptoms, reviewing family history, conducting medical tests, and eliminating other possible causes of the headache. Diagnosis is not always easy, however, as symptoms are often present in other conditions. It’s important to consult a headache specialist if your symptoms are disabling, change, or don’t respond to your usual headache remedies.

Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.

People may experience:

Pain areas: in the face or neck

Pain types: can be dull

Headache: can be acute, frequent, severe, or throbbing

Whole body: dizziness, lightheadedness, or malaise

Sensory: sensitivity to light, aura, or sensitivity to sound

Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting

Visual: distorted vision or seeing flashes of light

Also, common: irritability, nasal congestion, or scalp tenderness

Source: http://migraineresearchfoundation.org/about-migraine/what-is-migraine/


Migraine Resources

The American Migraine Foundation From their website: The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of research and awareness surrounding migraine, a disabling condition that impacts over 36 million men, women and children in the United States. The AMF was founded in 2010 by the American Headache Society to provide access to information and resources for individuals with migraine as well as their family and friends.