What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a type of headache that is often described as throbbing or pounding. It can be severe and can cause other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines can last for hours or even days. 

How Common Are Migraines? 

Migraines are a common condition. About 1 in 15 people in the United States have migraines. Women are more likely to get migraines than men. Migraines can start at any age, but they usually start in adolescence or early adulthood. 

What Causes Migraines? 

The exact cause of migraines is not known. However, it is thought that migraines are caused by a combination of genetic and environmental factors. Some things that can trigger migraines include: 

  • Stress 
  • Lack of sleep 
  • Certain foods or drinks 
  • Changes in weather 
  • Bright lights 
  • Loud noises 
  • Hormonal changes

If you find your migraines persisting or worsening, consulting a neurologist migraine specialist is crucial. They possess the expertise to delve deeper into your condition and offer specialized guidance tailored to your unique situation.

What Are The Symptoms of a Migraine? 

The symptoms of a migraine can vary from person to person. However, some common symptoms include: 

  • Headache: The headache is usually throbbing or pounding and is often felt on one side of the head. The pain can be severe and can make it difficult to function. 
  • Nausea and vomiting: About 2 out of 3 people with migraines experience nausea and vomiting. 
  • Sensitivity to light and sound: People with migraines are often sensitive to light and sound. This can make it difficult to be in bright light or around loud noises. 
  • Visual disturbances: Some people with migraines experience visual disturbances, such as flashing lights, blind spots, or zigzag lines. 
  • Fatigue: People with migraines often feel tired and fatigued. 
  • Difficulty concentrating: People with migraines may have difficulty concentrating and focusing.  

Seeking the assistance of a neurologist for migraine treatment is a pivotal step in managing your symptoms effectively. They can provide a comprehensive evaluation and recommend targeted interventions, including medications or therapies tailored to your needs. 

How is a Migraine Diagnosed? 

There is no one test that can diagnose a migraine. However, your doctor can diagnose a migraine based on your symptoms and medical history. Your doctor may also ask you to keep a headache diary to track your symptoms. 

How is a Migraine Treated? 

Treatment for migraines depends on the severity of your symptoms. 

  • Over-the-counter pain relievers, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen, can help relieve mild to moderate migraine pain. 
  • Prescription medications, such as triptans or ergots, can help relieve severe migraine pain. 
  • If you have frequent migraines, your doctor may prescribe preventive medications to help reduce the number of migraines you have. 

What Can I Do to Prevent Migraines? 

There are a few things you can do to help prevent migraines, such as: 

  • Getting regular exercise. 
  • Getting enough sleep. 
  • Avoiding triggers, such as stress, certain foods or drinks, and changes in weather. 
  • Managing stress. 
  • Relaxation techniques, such as yoga or meditation. 
  • Keeping a headache diary.