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Frequently Asked Questions
When do migraine headaches typically occur?
Migraine headaches typically occur between the ages of 15 to 55, and are three times more common in women than in men. A family history of migraine is present in 70-80% of people who experience migraines. While there is no known cure for migraines, medical and non-medical treatments can reduce how often migraines occur and their intensity.
What are the symptoms of a migraine?
Migraines can be a debilitating condition characterized by pulsating headaches that can last from a few hours to several days. These headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound. When severe, migraines can affect your quality of life and lessen productivity at home and in the workplace. They are often treatable with medications, lifestyle changes, or a combination of both. Some typical characteristics of a migraine include:
- Pain on one side of the head
- Moderate to intense pulsating or throbbing pain that affects daily activity
- Nausea or vomiting
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- Attacks that last from 4 to 72 hours, sometimes longer
- Visual disturbances or aura (e.g. wavy lines, dots, flashing lights and blind spots or disruptions in smell, taste, or touch) from 20 to 60 minutes before the onset of a headache
Should I be taking medications to help manage my migraines?
You should discuss the frequency and severity of your migraines with a migraine specialist or General Practitioner. In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help manage migraines, but the doctor will need to review your history to determine if medication might be right for you.
What are the common triggers of a migraine?
Migraine attacks are often brought on by certain triggers. Common triggers include stress, weather changes, some food and beverages, and irregular schedules.
Other triggers can include stress, strong emotions, lack of sleep, dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, strong lights, loud noises, heat, humidity, changes in barometric pressure, poor air quality, a menstrual period, and intense exercise, among others.
Tracking your triggers with a migraine diary can make it easier for a migraine specialist to help you.
Are migraines genetic?
There’s evidence that shows that if individuals in your family experience migraines, you may have an increased likelihood of getting them as well. In other words, you may have a genetic predisposition to getting migraines. If there’s a family history, make sure to mention it to the migraine specialist.