What is a migraine?
A migraine is a specific type of headache that is severe, persistent, and often occurs in conjunction with other symptoms, such as sensitivity to sound and light.
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It is believed that migraines are the result of abnormal brain activity that leads to constriction and subsequent dilation or widening of the arteries in the brain. This process results in the classic symptoms of migraine that include:
Nausea and vomiting
Severe, throbbing headache that lasts several hours to several days
Migraines are often, but not always, triggered by one or more specific substances or situations. These triggers vary greatly from person to person and commonly include:
Aged foods such as cheese
Sudden warm weather
Patient compliance with a good treatment plan can control symptoms of migraine to a degree that allows a person to live a normal, active life. Treatment plans include medications and avoiding substances and situations that can trigger a migraine.
In some cases, migraine headaches can be so severe that they are disabling and result in serious disruption of work, school, relationships, and social activities. Seek prompt medical care if you have symptoms of migraine, such as nausea and vomiting, and a severe, throbbing headache.
Symptoms of migraine can also mimic symptoms of more serious conditions, such as a stroke, meningitis, or retinal detachment. Seek immediate medical care (call 911) if you, or someone you are with, have a stiff neck and fever or sensory disturbances, such as numbness or vision changes.
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
Symptoms of migraines vary between individuals. The length of a migraine can vary greatly, from several hours to several days or more. Some people may only have one migraine in their lifetime, but migraines often recur. Repeat migraines can happen often or there may be years between migraines.... Read more about migraine symptoms
What causes a migraine?
Current research suggests that migraine headaches may be caused by activation of certain brain chemicals and nerve pathways that lead to changes in blood flow. Specifically, blood flow to the brain is reduced by constriction of the arteries in the brain. This is followed by dilation or widening of these arteries. The exact cause of this process is not known, but migraines are often triggered by one or more specific substances or situations. Triggers can vary greatly from person to person.... Read more about migraine causes
How are migraine headaches treated?
The most effective treatment plan for migraine headaches is a multifaceted approach. Treatment plans are also individualized to best address the specific triggers and severity of the migraine, your age, medical history, and other factors. Treatment includes:... Read more about migraine treatments