Migraines are very common, affecting up to 13% of the US population. Women are three times more likely to get them than men. Usually, they begin anywhere between 10 years and 45 years of age.
A migraine is actually a type of chronic headache, meaning that it recurs over time. People usually describe an intense throbbing pain on one side of the head-generally behind the eye- but can affect both sides. Patients will also often complain of nausea and sensitivity to light. Some people can identify an aura or a sign that indicates a migraine is coming. These symptoms include blurry vision, seeing stars or zigzag lines, or a blind spot.
Unfortunately, migraines can linger for quite some time; they can usually last between 4 and 48 hours. Most people will have an attack once or twice a month, while a small percentage can get them almost daily.
Migraines can be debilitating. From personal experience, I see numerous migraine patients in the clinic holding their head, and asking to lie down in a dark room with minimal light and noise. While they are occurring, migraines can certainly affect your ability to function and to work.
Migraines can most certainly be treated. There are an abundant amount of differing medications that can be used to treat migraines after they’ve begun, or even prevent them for someone suffering from frequent migraines.
As far as one’s everyday lifestyle, there are certain foods that can trigger migraines. A few foods that should be avoided include alcohol, cheese, chocolate, MSG, and meats with nitrites like salami. If you are a smoker, it will be very helpful to quit. In addition, biofeedback and hypnosis may help.
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