June is National Headache & Migraine Awareness Month!
Migraine is a primary headache disorder characterized by recurrent headaches that are moderate to severe. Typically, the headaches affect one half of the head, are pulsating in nature, and last from two to 72 hours.
Associated symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. The pain is generally made worse by physical activity. Up to one-third of people have an aura, which is typically a short period of visual disturbance that signals the headache will soon occur. Migraines can become debilitating and impact quality of life when experienced often.
Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors. About two-thirds of cases run in families. Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraines affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty, and two to three times more adult women than men. The underlying mechanisms are not fully known. It is, however, believed to involve the nerves and blood vessels of the brain.
There are many medications out there used to treat migraine headaches, in addition to trigger avoidance and home remedies (such as caffeine). Treating migraine headaches can significantly reduce symptoms, as well as frequency and severity.
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