Migraine Overview

DEFINITION OF  MIGRAINES

Migraines are a subset of headaches, which cause moderate to severe throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head. Migraines can last from two hours up to three days and are typically associated with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to sound (phonophobia) and light (photophobia). Although migraines can be diagnosed by a primary care doctor, in order to be considered for surgery you need to have a diagnosis from a neurologist.

pre-and post-migraine changes

pre- and post-migraine changes

Migraine sufferers typically have one or more of the following migraine-associated events:

Prodrome (one to two days before a migraine) – a subtle change in the body, including physical symptoms, like muscle cramps, or emotional feelings, like depression.

Aura (directly before or during a migraine attack) – various alterations in vision, hearing, touch, or speech. Some patients also suffer from muscular changes, such as spasms and weakness.

definition of migrainescause of migraines

cause of migraines

There is still no exact mechanism proven to cause migraine headaches, and there are likely different underlying causes for different types of migraine sufferers. Most believe that there is a combination of factors, both outside and inside the brain, that trigger a cascade of events to cause migraine pain. This may be related to how the brain communicates with sensory nerves in the face and scalp.

pre-and post-migrainesmigraine triggers

migraine triggers

Despite the cause of the migraine pain, there are known environmental factors that can “trigger” migraine headaches. Common triggers include foods and food additives, medications, environmental changes, hormonal changes and stress. Most migraine sufferers have specific triggers that they recognize cause their particular headaches to occur.

cause of migrainesprevalence of migraines

prevalence of migraines

Overall, 35 million Americans suffer from migraine headaches, and 43% of women and 18% of men will experience migraines at some point in their lives. The majority of migraine sufferers are between the ages of 35-45. This difference is thought to be related to specific hormonal changes that are unique to women.

migraine triggersmigraine treatments

migraine treatments

Traditional migraine treatment involves a combination of lifestyle changes, avoidance of triggers, and medications. Patients will typically have prophylactic medications, used to prevent migraines, and “rescue” medications, used to treat migraines that are active or just starting. When these traditional migraine treatments do not work, patients may be candidates for BOTOX® or surgical intervention. At The Migraine Institute, we specializes in helping patients find relief with these cutting edge treatment options.

If you are suffering from migraines, contact The Migraine Institute today to find out if you are a candidate for ground-breaking migraine surgery!

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