Headaches and Migraines
What is a Headache?
A headache is a pain or discomfort that can occur on one or both sides of the head. It can be isolated to a specific location, or travel from one point to another. Headaches can come on suddenly or develop slowly and can last less than an hour to a few days.
Types of Headaches:
- Migraine: A migraine is a type of headache that can cause severe throbbing pain or a pulsing sensation
- Tension Headaches: Tension headaches, the most common, can be caused by stress and tight muscles
- Cluster Headaches: These headaches usually occur in a series that could last weeks to months
Migraines are often only on one side of the head, rather than both, and can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound. Migraines can have different, distinct phases, but not everyone will have these phases.
- Premonition Phase: A change in mood occurring hours or days before a migraine
- Aura Phase: Visual, sensory or motor symptoms that can come before a headache
- Headache Phase: Timeframe during an actual headache
- Resolution Phase: Period of time where the pain lessens
Treatment for Headaches will be Determined By:
- Age, health, and medical history
- Type of headaches
- Severity and frequency of the headaches
- Your tolerance for specific medications
Headache Management May Include:
- Avoiding known triggers, such as certain foods and beverages, lack of sleep and fasting
- Changing eating habits
- Resting in a quiet, dark environment
- Medications, as recommended by your doctor
- Stress management
Migraine Headaches May Require Specific Medication Management Including:
- Abortive Medications: Medications, prescribed by your doctor, that act on specific receptors in nerves and blood vessels in the head to stop a headache in progress.
- Rescue Medications: Medications purchased over-the-counter, such as analgesics (pain relievers), to stop a headache.
- Preventive Medications: Medications, prescribed by your doctor, that are taken daily to reduce the onset of severe migraine headaches.
- BOTOX® : Approved by the FDA for adults with a chronic migraine (15 or more headache days a month and each lasting 4 hours or more).
- More than 37 million people in the US suffer from migraines
- 2-3 million migraine sufferers are chronic
- About 5 million people in the US experience at least one migraine attack a month
- Women have more migraines than men
- More than 70% have a family history of migraines
Learn More about Neurologists Near You!
Physicians Providing Care for Headache and Migraine.