Is That Headache a Migraine?

Migraine is a medical condition affecting more than 29 million Americans.  It can occur in both men and women but is more common in women.  A migraine headache is usually an intense, throbbing pain on one side, or sometimes both sides, of the head.  Most people with a migraine feel the pain tin the temples or behind one eye or ear, although any part of the head can be involved.  Migraine also can cause nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.  Some people also may see spots or flashing lights or have temporary vision loss.

Migraine can occur any time of the day, though it often starts in the morning.  The pain can last a few hours or up to two days.  Some people get migraines once or twice weekly.  Others, only once or twice a year.  Most of the time, migraines are not a threat to your overall health, but they can interfere with your day-today life.  Researches don’t know what causes them, but some things are more common in people who have them:

  • Most often, migraine affects people between the ages of 15 and 55.
  • Most people who get migraines have a family history of migraine or of disabling headache.
  • Migraine often becomes less severe and less frequent with age.

If you have migraine symptoms, talk with your doctor about prevention and treatment options.

–Source:  Office on Women’s Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services