Headache Types And Their Causes | Heidi Moawad, MD | RxEconsult

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Headaches: Causes, Types And Treatments Category: Pain Management by - February 10, 2016 | Views: 48431 | Likes: 0 | Comment: 0  

Migraine headaches

According to the National Headache Foundation, over 37 million Americans experience migraine headaches. Migraine headaches are more severe than most types of headaches. Migraine headaches are characterized by pain, but also have other features such as hypersensitivity to light (photophobia,) sounds or smells. Migraine headaches are often associated with neck pain, nausea or a sense of dissociation. Some people with migraine headaches have more significant neurological symptoms with the migraine headaches such as vision changes, numbness or tingling. 

Most people who have migraine headaches experience recurrent migraines at a frequency of several times per year up to several times per week. Many people with migraine headaches experience pre-migraine symptoms, such as excessive fatigue or dizziness. The pre-migraine symptoms are often referred to as an 'aura.' Sometimes the other neurological symptoms that occur along with a migraine are called an 'aura,' whether they occur before, during or after a migraine itself. 

There are several migraine triggers that make it more likely for a migraine to occur, but a migraine headache can happen in the absence of a trigger. The most common migraine triggers are hormone treatments, menstrual cycle, hormonal fluctuations, caffeine withdrawal, soy products, artificial food additives and strong chemical odors.

Often, migraine headaches can be relieved by over-the-counter pain medications, but sometimes migraine headaches do not improve without prescription strength migraine medication interventional procedures. 

There are also several subcategories of migraine headaches including:

  • An ocular migraine is a migraine characterized by flashing lights or blind spots or other temporary visual symptoms.
  • A cluster headache is a migraine characterized by redness of one eye, nasal discharge on one side and possibly even a small pupil on one side. 

Next: Medication Overuse, Menstrual, Sensitivity Headaches


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