Migraine

Alternative Names

Headache – migraine

Definition of Migraine

A migraine is a common type of headache that may occur with symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light. In many people, a throbbing pain is felt only on one side of the head.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Migraine headaches tend to first appear between the ages of 10 and 45. Sometimes they may begin later in life.

Symptoms

Vision disturbances, or aura, are considered a “warning sign” that a migraine is coming. The aura occurs in both eyes and may involve any or all of the following:

Signs and tests

Your doctor can diagnose this type of headache by asking questions about your symptoms and family history of migraines. A complete physical exam will be done to determine if your headaches are due to muscle tension, sinus problems, or a serious brain disorder.

Treatment

There is no specific cure for migraine headaches. The goal is to prevent symptoms by avoiding or changing your triggers.

Expectations (prognosis)

Every person responds differently to treatment. Some people have rare headaches that require little to no treatment. Others require the use of several medications or even occasional hospitalization.

Review

Kevin Sheth, MD, Department of Neurology, University of Maryland School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/22/2010

Migraine headache
Migraine cause
CT scan of the brain
Central nervous system

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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