Understanding Migraine Headaches

'June is Migraine & Headache Awareness Month' & so many people suffer from headaches every day, and some are more severe than others. Many have secondary accompanying symptoms, and they can even be indicators for more severe conditions. A migraine is a good example of a headache that is more than “just a headache”.

What Is a Migraine Headache?

A migraine headache is more of a condition than just a headache. Migraines are typically very severe and have additional symptoms. In some cases, they are even considered to be neurological conditions. This is because migraine sufferers often have recurrent attacks and experience different neurological symptoms alongside blinding pain.

Is a Migraine Considered a Primary or Secondary Headache?

Typically, migraine headaches are considered to be primary headaches. This is because there is no underlying condition that is causing the headaches themselves. Often times, however, people who experience sudden, severe, or recurrent migraines are examined for other possible conditions.

When a migraine is just a migraine, it is primary. However, migraine‐type pain is often associated with other more severe conditions; therefore, it’s always important to seek professional help before diagnosing yourself with migraine headaches.

Do Migraine Headaches Always Last a Long Time?

Migraine headaches can vary in how long they stick around. Some migraines last for a few hours; other more severe cases can last for several days. Sometimes, the migraine sufferer will experience neurological symptoms before, during, and after occurrences. For example, darkened or “tunnel” vision before the onset of pain, or strange floating lights and auras. They might also experience these types of symptoms between bouts of pain.

What Are the Symptoms of a Migraine Headache?

Migraine headaches are mostly known for causing severe, sometimes excruciating pain. Quite often, the headaches are accompanied by nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, and extreme sensitivity to light.

What Are the Causes of Migraine Headaches?

Although the overall exact cause of migraine headaches is not known, most studies link these headaches with genetic as well as environmental factors. Migraines tend to run in families and seem to be hereditary. Many migraine sufferers have environmental triggers as well. For example, very strong smells, certain foods, heat, or bright lights can be triggers for migraine headaches.

Are Migraine Headaches Dangerous?

Understanding Migraine Headaches

Overall, correctly diagnosed they are not dangerous or life threatening. Migraines themselves are primary headaches, meaning that they are not the symptom of an underlying condition. The excruciating pain, however, especially for people that experience recurrent migraine headaches, can certainly feel like it is ruining your life.

Treatment Options

There are many treatment options, from medications and massage therapy to homeopathic treatments and acupuncture. Each person reacts differently to treatment and so the effectiveness of any one treatment is variable. Some sufferers have to try many different treatment options before discovering the right one for them.

Migraine Prevention

Most people try to prevent migraines from starting in the first place. Some choose to take medications that inhibit certain nerve activity in the brain, others choose more holistic remedies such as massage therapy or homeopathy, and some try to avoid possible environmental triggers.

Migraine headaches are one of the most severe types of headaches, despite not being dangerous. Anyone who suffers from what they believe to be migraine headaches should see a physician for an official diagnosis, future treatment and prevention, and to check for any underlying causes.