A Answers (17)
Mehmet Oz, MD, Cardiology, answeredThis one-sided throbbing pain causes sensitivity to light and sound and may cause nausea. Migraines run in families and women are three times more likely to have them than men. Experts believe that migraines may be caused by nerve signals that the brain misinterprets as pain.Helpful? 2 people found this helpful.
Piedmont Heart Institute answered
A migraine is described as an intense pulsing or throbbing pain in one area of the head. It is often accompanied by extreme sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine is three times more common in women than in men. Some individuals can predict the onset of a migraine because it is preceded by an "aura," visual disturbances that appear as flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or a temporary loss of vision. People with migraine tend to have recurring attacks triggered by lack of food or sleep, exposure to light, or hormonal irregularities (only in women). Anxiety, stress, or relaxation after stress can also act as triggers. For many years, scientists believed that migraines were linked to the dilation and constriction of blood vessels in the head. Investigators now believe that migraine is caused by inherited abnormalities in genes that control the activities of certain cell populations in the brain.
This answer is based on source information from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke.
Honor Society of Nursing (STTI) answeredMigraine headaches are ongoing modest to severe headache pain that can have an effect on any part of the head. The disorder is usually inherited and affects women three times more often than men. Symptoms appear as early as puberty or early adulthood. The pain can get worse with increased physical activity and sensitivity to sound, light, and smell. Nausea and vomiting may also accompany this condition. Weather changes, hunger, stress, sleep deficiency, and various other factors also often trigger migraine headaches in people with the condition. There is no known medical cure for migraine headaches; however, there are drugs and medications available, such as analgesics, to dull the pain and to assist in controlling these headaches. Some drugs have been approved to prevent migraines, including certain antiseizure drugs and the antidepressant amitriptyline.Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Migraines are throbbing headaches that last from 4 to 72 hours, usually on one side of your head. They may be triggered by certain foods or smells.
They may cause nausea and vomiting. And light may make the pain worse. Some people have an aura like seeing wavy lines or flashing lights before the headache starts.
Although migraines are painful, they can often be treated with pain medicines and sometimes with medicines to prevent the headaches.
© Healthwise, Incorporated.
American Academy of Ophthalmology answered
Migraine is a common neurological condition occurring in at least 15 to 20 percent of the population and in up to 50 percent of women.
Classic migraine starts with visual symptoms (often zigzag lines, colored lights or flashes of light expanding to one side of your vision over 10 to 30 minutes), followed by a single-sided pounding, severe headache. The headache may be associated with nausea, vomiting and light sensitivity. Sometimes visual symptoms and even neurologic dysfunction may occur without the headache. These are called “migraine variant.”
Common migraine may cause only a headache felt on both sides of the head. This form of migraine may be responsible for the headaches that many people may have attributed to tension, stress or sinus pain.
Migraines cause an intense pain in one or more areas of the brain. The headache may be accompanied by other symptoms, including constipation, diarrhea, food cravings, depression, hyperactivity, irritability, neck stiffness, hallucinations, vision loss, or speech and language problems.
A migraine is not just headache pain. Migraine is thought to be a genetic neurological disease characterized by flare-ups often called "migraine attacks" or "migraine episodes." A headache can be one symptom of a migraine attack. Some individuals with migraine disease often have migraine attacks without having a headache.
Migraine attacks, or episodes, occur in phases or parts. A typical migraine attack consists of four phases. Not every individual experiencing a migraine has all four phases. The four phases of a migraine attack are prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome.
Individuals suffering from migraines tend to have recurring attacks triggered by a lack of food or sleep, certain food allergies, exposure to light, or hormonal changes in women, including puberty, menopause, and premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Anxiety, stress, or relaxation after stress can also be triggers. Exposure to a trigger does not always lead to a headache. Conversely, avoidance of triggers cannot completely prevent headaches. Different migraine sufferers respond to different triggers, and any one trigger will not induce a headache in every person who has migraine headaches.
Attacks tend to become less severe as the migraine sufferer ages. The uncertainty of when attacks may occur leads to additional patient anxiety. Symptoms, incidence, and severity of migraine headaches vary by individual.
Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. An estimated 28 million people in the United States (about 12% of the population) will experience migraine headaches at one time in their lives.
In the United States, migraine headaches often go undiagnosed or are misdiagnosed as tension or sinus headaches. As a result, many migraine sufferers do not receive effective treatment.Treatments for migraine attacks involve prevention of the attack and treatment of acute (immediate) symptoms such as the headache.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
Copyright © 2012 by Natural Standard Research Collaboration. All Rights Reserved.
Dawn Marcus, Neurology, answeredA practical definition, and one that many doctors use, is that migraine is a very common, controllable group of symptoms, in addition to headache, that is often inherited and clearly has a biological basis.
Let's break down the individual components of this definition of migraine. First, migraine is very common, affecting 12 percent of all adults -- 6 percent of men and 18 percent of women. That's one in every six women! These figures are remarkably consistent in countries around the world.
Next, migraine is very controllable, although not curable. With a proper diagnosis and an effective headache treatment plan, the vast majority of migraine sufferers can lead normal, productive lives. An effective treatment strategy that involves lifestyle changes, non-drug treatments, and medications can dramatically reduce lost time from work and family activities, and significantly improve quality of life.
Find out more about this book:The Woman's Migraine Toolkit: Managing Your Headaches from Puberty to Menopause (A DiaMedica Guide to Optimum Wellness)
Mosaraf Ali, MD, Integrative Medicine, answered
Your head is killing you, your stomach hurts and you'd turn off the light if only you could bear to move. What is this strange disorder called a migraine? In this video, integrative medicine expert and Dr. Oz Show guest Mosaraf Ali explains.
Helpful? 1 person found this helpful.
Egilius Spierings, Neurology, answeredMigraine is the French derivation of the Greek word hemikrania, meaning "half a head," referring to the typical pattern of migraine distress—pain only on one side of the head, most often at the temple. The affected side can vary from one attack to the next or during a single episode.
Migraine pain ranges from moderate to severe. Unlike tension headache, migraine headaches can keep you from functioning or sleeping, and they can even rouse you from sound slumber. Most people describe the pain as pulsating or throbbing. It can also be sharp, almost as if a dagger is piercing your temple or eye.
Nausea and vomiting are common during a migraine headache. Likewise, tense head, neck, and shoulder muscles can accompany a migraine headache. In most cases, this is thought to be an involuntary response to the pain, rather than its cause (although tight muscles can trigger a migraine headache). Bright lights and loud noises worsen the pain and may prompt someone with a migraine headache to seek out quiet, dimly lit places. Similarly, smell may aggravate nausea and cause vomiting.
Michael T Murray, Naturopathic Medicine, answered
Boston Women's Health Book Collective, answered
Headaches are one of the most common problems for women of all ages. It is thought that the majority of headaches are migraines, experienced by about 20 percent women and 7 percent men. Migraines appear to be related to the spasms or contraction of blood vessels, which temporarily decreases blood flow to the brain. During the menopause transition, fluctuating hormones may aggravate existing migraines, cause migraines to recur after a period of respite, or cause migraines for the first time. After menopause, about two-thirds of women with migraines find that their headaches disappear or improve.
Headaches can vary in intensity and frequency, even for the same person. Sometimes, headaches are mild and easily treated with over-the-counter medication; but at other times, they are more severe. Migraines that are accompanied by a stiff or painful neck may be diagnosed as tension headaches. Nasal congestion or facial discomfort with a headache may be interpreted as a sinus headache. Some experts now think that all these headaches may be migraines.
People who suffer from migraine headaches usually seek medical attention; about 18 percent of women and 6 percent of men suffer from migraines. Migraine pain is characterized as a moderate-to-severe, pulsating, throbbing pain often focused on one side of the head. This pain is intensified by simple physical activity. Migraine pain can be managed by a combination of nonprescription and prescription medications and self-care approaches and by avoiding triggers that set off migraine attacks.
Migraine is an inherited disorder with many variations. In general it presents with recurring headaches, associated with other symptoms such as sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells, as well as nausea. Some have “auras” before the headache begins, such as various visual disturbances or numbness, but most do not. Spells commonly last 4-72 hours.
There are many variations of migraine and how mild or severe the pain is does not define whether the attacks are migraine or other headache types.
Migraine is a condition affecting approximately 12% of the US population. The cause is not clearly understood but the disease tends to run in families suggesting a genetic cause. The hallmark of migraine is severe headache frequently accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to sound and light. Approximately 10-15% of migraine sufferers experience neurologic symptoms before or during the attack called auras. Auras are most commonly visual, flashing lights, geometric shapes, or loss of vision. Auras can also consist of tingling, dizziness, difficulty speaking, and rarely weakness of one side of the body.
Not all migraine sufferers experience headache. Some people only experience the neurologic symptoms with little if any head pain. This is particularly common in older individuals.
Charles Simpson, DC, Chiropractic, answered
Not all headaches, even bad ones, are migraines. Knowing which kind of headache you have helps you and your clinician find the most effective treatment and prevention strategies.
There is confusion in the medical community about the different kinds and causes of headaches. Some doctors and other seem to feel that almost all headaches are "migraines." However, the International Headache Society has created the International Classification Headache Disorders (ICHD) in order to standardize terminology for this common problem. The Society is made up of specialists and experts in the study of headaches.
Terminology is important. When doctors, researchers (and patients) use the same language to describe headaches, there is less confusion. The ICHD describes 2 categories of headache: 1.) “secondary” headaches which are due to some other medical problem such as infection, drug side-effects, and concussion and the much more common “primary” headaches that have no apparent cause.
Primary headaches can be divided into 4 basic types: tension type, migraine, cluster and “other.” Tension type headache (TTH) is by far the most common among headache suffers. In my practice, many patients have come to me thinking that they have “migraine” headaches and may even have had migraine diagnosed incorrectly by a physician. TTH can be quite severe. The severity of head pain does not make a migraine.
A true migraine headache usually has certain features that set it apart from the “garden variety” TTH. While the actual causes of migraine are not well understood, how migraines act is fairly consistent and usually makes the diagnosis without special tests, lab studies or imaging.
The typical migraine in adults happens 3 times as often in women. The start of a migraine includes a “prodrome” in about 60% of patients. A variety of prodrome symptoms occur from hours to days before the headache. These include mood changes, visual disturbance, altered sensation and a sense of heaviness or weakness.
The headache itself can be moderate to severe and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, pale and clammy skin, extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Most migraine sufferers (“migraineurs”) find relief only in a darkened, quite room, a period of rest and are often left feeling tired and weak.
Discovery Health answered
An estimated 30 million Americans experience intense migraine headaches. These migraines can last for days. They can be painful to the point of keeping the person from being able to function.
Migraines often are described as a throbbing pain that begins on one side of the head and then spreads out. This kind of headache can also be accompanied by an increased sensitivity to light and can worsen with physical exertion. Those suffering migraines often lie down in the dark in an effort to reduce their pain.
Migraines also are often accompanied by gastrointestinal disturbances, which can include abdominal pains.
Migraines also are often preceded by warning signs, including depression, euphoria, depression or cravings for certain kinds of food.
About one-fifth of the people who suffer migraines experience an aura before the onset of their migraine. This aura can manifest as a disturbance to any of the five senses.