Migraine headaches are a common ailment that affects millions of people each year. If you suffer from migraines, you know all too well the crippling pain and debilitating side effects they can have on your life. Whether you’re new to migraine headaches or not, there are some things about them that most people don’t know. In this post, we’ll discuss 6 facts about migraines so that next time someone asks “What’s a migraine?” You will be able to tell them with confidence!
1) A migraine headache is usually one sided and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, blurred vision or blind spots in the visual field. These are accompanied by extreme pain that can last for hours, days or even weeks.
2) Migraine headaches affect three times more women than men. Research suggests that hormonal changes and fluctuations in estrogen levels can trigger or worsen migraines.
3) Migraine headache pain is often described as moderate to severe throbbing pain. The frequency, intensity and duration of migraine attacks vary from one person to another. Some people say they experience an aura before a migraine attack such as seeing flashing lights or having blind spots in their visual field which leads us to the next point.
4) According to neurologists, not everyone who has auras will develop full blown migraines; only about 20 percent do according to statistics. Other symptoms that frequently accompany auras include dizziness and vertigo (the sensation that you or your surroundings are spinning), speech disturbances like slurring words and difficulty understanding what other people are saying, numbness or tingling in the face, hands and feet.
5) There are certain foods that can trigger migraine attacks in some people. These foods include aged cheeses, red wine and smoked meats which all contain high levels of tyramine or phenylethylamine (PEA). Other triggers that are reported to worsen the symptoms of migraines are things like stress, anxiety, skipping meals and fatigue according to research.
6) The most common age group for migraine sufferers is 20-50 years of age; and – It’s possible to suffer from “silent” migraines which don’t include the typical symptoms outlined above! If you think you may be suffering from them, ask your doctor for a referral to an optometrist (eye specialist) who will check if there is anything wrong with your eyes. This could be contributing to what seem like unexplained visual disturbances such as blind spots in your field of vision, double vision or blurred vision upon awakening.
Other symptoms of silent migraines are nausea or vomiting, neck stiffness and pain. These types of migraine attacks can last for days to weeks at a time! If you think you may be suffering from them, see your doctor immediately as they could also be an early sign of something more serious like meningitis which is inflammation around the brain caused by bacterial infection.
So if someone asks “What’s a migraine?” You’ll know that it’s one of the most common forms of headache but one with some very specific characteristics including debilitating head pain!