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Understanding Migraine Headaches

Understanding Migraine Headaches

People suffer from headaches every day. Some are more severe than others. Some have secondary accompanying symptoms, and some can even be indicators for more severe underlying conditions. As well as that, some headaches are more than just headaches. A migraine headache is an example of one kind of headache that is more than “just a headache”.

What Is a Migraine Headache?

A migraine headache is more of a condition than just a headache. Migraine headaches are typically very severe and have accompanying symptoms. In some cases, migraines are even considered to be neurological conditions. This is because migraine sufferers often have recurrent attacks and experience neurological symptoms alongside blinding pain.

Is a Migraine Considered a Primary or Secondary Headache?

Typically, migraine headaches are considered to be primary headaches. This is because there is no underlying condition that is causing the headaches themselves. Often times, however, patients who experience sudden, severe, or recurrent migraines are examined for other possible conditions.

When a migraine is just a migraine, it is primary. However, migraine-type pain is often associated with other more severe conditions; therefore it’s always important to seek professional help before diagnosing yourself with migraine headaches.

Do Migraine Headaches Always Last a Long Time?

Migraine headaches can vary in how long they stick around. Some migraines last for a few hours, other more severe cases can last for several days. In some cases, the migraine sufferer will experience neurological symptoms before, during, and after occurrences. For example, a sufferer might experience darkened or “tunnel” vision before the onset of pain, or strange floating lights and auras. They might also experience these types of symptoms between bouts of pain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Migraine Headache?

Migraine headaches are mostly known for causing severe, sometimes excruciating pain. Quite often, the headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, and extreme sensitivity to light.

What Are the Causes of Migraine Headaches?

Although the overall exact cause of migraine headaches is not known, most studies link these headaches with genetic as well as environmental factors. Migraines tend to run in families and seem to be hereditary. Many migraine sufferers have environmental triggers as well. For example, very strong smells, certain foods, heat, or bright lights can be triggers for migraine headaches in some people.

Are Migraine Headaches Dangerous?

Overall, correctly diagnosed migraine headaches are not dangerous or life threatening. Migraines themselves are primary headaches, meaning that they are not the symptom of an underlying condition. The excruciating pain, however, especially for people that experience recurrent migraine headaches, can certainly feel like it is ruining your life.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options, from medications and therapy to homeopathic treatments and acupuncture. Each person reacts differently to treatment and so the effectiveness of any one treatment is variable. Some sufferers have to try many different treatment options before discovering the right one for them.

Migraine Prevention

Many people look to prevention as the best treatment of migraine headaches. Some choose to take medications that inhibit certain nerve activity in the brain, others choose more homeopathic remedies, and still others choose to live life avoiding many possible environmental triggers.

Migraine headaches are certainly one of the most severe types of headaches, despite not being dangerous. Anyone who suffers from what they believe to be migraine headaches should follow up with a physician for an official diagnosis, future treatment and prevention, and to check for any underlying causes.

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