Migraines are actually a specific type of recurring headache. During a migraine attack, patients experience moderate to severe pain, usually with a throbbing or pulsing sensation. This pain often affects only one side of the brain at a time. Migraines can also make a person more sensitive to
Nausea and vomiting are other potentially debilitating common symptoms of migraine headaches.
Many — but not all — patients with migraines also experience a group of neurologic symptoms that happen before a migraine attack called an "aura." An aura usually occurs 10-15 minutes before a migraine onset, but the time between the two can range from just a few minutes to a full 24 hours. Visual disturbances, such as flashing lights, are a common symptom. Other aura symptoms include:
Sometimes a patient with a migraine disorder may experience an aura without developing an actual migraine attack.
If you suffer from migraines, know that you aren't alone. Migraines are one of the most common brain disorders worldwide and affect an estimated 12% of Americans. While anyone can experience migraines, women get migraines more often than men. Because migraines are caused by the genes that control certain brain cell activities, heredity is thought to be a factor: People with a family history of migraine disorders are more likely to develop migraines themselves.
Although there is currently no cure for migraines, patients do have a range of treatment options. These medications, procedures, and lifestyle changes can effectively manage migraine symptoms and reduce the length and frequency of attacks.* To help inform the best course of treatment for you, Dr. Jaafar may diagnose you with a specific migraine disorder.
Migraine triggers are events or stimuli that result in a migraine attack. While particular triggers vary from person to person, the most frequent ones include:
Although none of these factors actually cause migraines — remember that migraines are a complex condition attributed to genetics — identifying and avoiding such triggers can go a long way in improving your quality of life.*
*individual results may vary
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