Migraines are severe type of headache, typically defined as the feeling of throbbing or pulsating pain in one area of the head. Some people will diagnose a migraine by its severity of pain and number of attacks, such as being at least a level 5 in pain from 1 to 10 and lasting for 4-72 hours when medication is not administered. There are also other symptoms associated with migraine, mostly from the pain, including nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines are much more common in women than in men, and affect about 10% of people in the world. Migraines can be triggered by a variety of factors including anxiety, hormonal changes, stress, flashing or bright lights, lack of sleep or food, and certain dietary substances. In some women, their changes in hormone levels such as the beginning of her menstrual cycle will trigger a migraine.

Treating Migraines

There isn’t a single cure for migraines, though there are ways to treat them with medications and lifestyle changes. Prevention of migraines in someone prone to them is done through medications and behavioral changes. Drugs that were originally created for depression, epilepsy and high blood pressure are effective at prevent future migraine attacks. People who get migraines often should also keep a journal marking what they ate or were doing shorty before getting the migraine to look for triggers. It may be a certain time of the menstrual cycle, lifestyle changes, certain diet or exercise habits, dehydration, change in sleep schedule, or any number of things. There are also medications to help treat migraines when they come on, including analgesics, ergotaime drugs, and sumatrptan. Some of them are over-the-counter, while others require a prescription.

Preventing Migraines

It is important to make lifestyle changes that will help prevent your migraines. In many cases, avoiding triggers that tend to cause migraines and stop it before it begins, will be your best course of treatment. While there are medications to help relieve the symptoms of a migraine, they aren’t always effective immediately. Some people may have a migraine every day if they don’t learn what is triggering them and how best to prevent them. Migraines can be debilitating, making it difficult to perform basic daily tasks such as getting out of bed, going to work or school, or just turning on the lights. You may not find the exact cause of your migraines, but with the help of medications, you can work to prevent them.

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