What makes migraines different from other headaches?

If you have ever had a migraine, then you know that it is not the same as a tension headache. Many people end up seeking emergency care when they get their first migraine because the symptoms are so severe that they think they are having a medical crisis. What makes migraines unique? Here are the facts you need to know.

What are migraines?

Migraines are intensely painful headaches that usually cause pain on one side of the head and behind the eye. The pain can also be accompanied by sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting. Some people also experience loss of vision or see flashing lights during a migraine.

Approximately 29.5 million people in the US experience migraine headaches. They are the most common form of headache to send people to their physicians.

What causes migraines?

The exact causes of migraines are not known. They are more common in women, and there may be a genetic component as well. Most people who get migraines have a set of triggers that are linked to headaches. Some common triggers include:

  • Sleeping too much or too little
  • Skipping meals
  • Hormone changes, such as during menstruation
  • Weather changes
  • Stress
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Foods with nitrates, aspartame, or tyramine

How are migraines treated?

One of the best ways to control migraines is to identify your triggers and avoid them. Keeping a journal of your migraines that includes what you were doing and what you had to eat or drink for the 24 hours leading up to the migraine can help you identify patterns and recognize your triggers.

Medications can also be used to treat migraines. Some medications are taken on a daily basis to prevent or reduce migraines, while others are used for acute treatment when a migraine occurs.

Don’t let migraines disrupt your wellbeing. Contact MountainView Hospital for a referral to a physician who can help you get relief. For more information about out hospital service in Las Vegas and for physician referrals, please dial (702) 962-5021.

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