Hippocrates, who was 400 BC, classified headaches into primary and secondary groups. Secondary headaches are those that indicate an underlying medical condition. Primary headaches can be caused by a medical condition. Migraines can be a form of primary headache. Migraine headaches can be very severe. The pain can be intense and throbbing in any part of your head. It is usually located behind the eye or in the temples.
Migraines can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light or sound. They can last from a few hours up to several days. Migraines can occur one to two times per week, or once or twice per year depending on the individual. Migraines are more common in women than in men. Migraines are more common in those aged 15 to 55, but their severity and frequency often decreases with age.
Migraines are most common in women between the ages 20 and 45. Women often experience migraines that are related to their periods. Researchers have not been able to pinpoint the exact cause of migraines. However, triggers are factors that can trigger migraines.
These triggers include lack of sleep, hunger, too bright lights, loud noises, hormonal changes, stress, anxiety, foods containing MSG, nitrates or aspartame and alcohol. There are two types of migraines. Classic migraine sufferers often experience sensory symptoms before the attack. These symptoms include flashing lights, numbness, or tingling of the face or hands, as well as a disturbed sense or touch.
These symptoms are known as an aura. Common migraines do not have an aura. Men are more likely to see the aura than women. Sometimes it can be difficult to distinguish a migraine from a bad tension headache. Migraine pain is more severe and causes intense throbbing. Both can cause a constant ache. Tension headaches can be unilateral or bilateral.
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Migraines are more restricted to one side of a person’s head. Migraines can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sounds. This is uncommon in tension headaches. While migraines may have an aura before they start, tension headaches do not have one. Some migraines can be treated with over-the-counter medications like acetaminophen, aspirin, or NSAIDS like ibuprofen.
Some patients may require prescription drugs. Migraines sufferers should have medication on hand. Drink fluids even if there is no nausea. Doctors often recommend medication for migraines that are so severe they disrupt work, social events, or family activities.
Another way to prevent migraines is to identify the triggers of the condition and make lifestyle changes. If stress causes migraines, you can find ways to reduce or manage the stress. Each person is unique. One person’s experience may not work for another. Some sufferers have found relief with biofeedback and Chinese acupuncture. Others must resort to drugs for pain relief and prevention.