Migraine News

A migraine is a serious form of headache. Usually, it differs from a less severe headache, such as a muscle tension headache, in that it causes a very intense pulsing or throbbing pain. This is often felt on just one side of the head. Migraines, which can last from a few hours to a few days, affect about 10 percent of the population.

Some migraines, called classic migraines, are preceded by an "aura," described as flashing lights or other disturbances in your vision. Migraines that don’t begin with an aura are called common migraines. In addition to the telltale throbbing pain, migraine sufferers may also experience nausea and vomiting, light or noise sensitivity, blurred vision, fatigue, sweating, stiff neck and other unpleasant symptoms.

Causes of Migraines

Migraines seem to be related to serotonin levels in the body. In some people, when serotonin levels become low, the blood vessels swell, which can lead to migraine pain. People also seem to have triggers for migraines. These can include bright lights, loud noises, strong odors or changes in the weather. Smoking, not getting enough sleep and intense physical activity, including sex, seem to bring on migraines in others. Certain foods can trigger migraines, and some women get them along with hormonal changes caused by menstruation or use of birth control pills.

Treatment

There's no cure for migraines, but many people have been able to manage their migraines by reducing their frequency and also treating the symptoms of the migraine when it occurs. For some, over-the-counter pain medications are sufficient for relieving the symptoms of a migraine. But others may need to see a doctor to get a prescription medication for migraine relief. Many can also help manage an active migraine by resting in a dark room or using a cold compress or a head massage to relieve the symptoms. Keeping a healthy sleep schedule, maintaining a healthy diet, exercising regularly and avoiding triggers all seem to play a role in preventing migraines.

SOURCES: U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke; American Academy of Family Physicians

Date Posted
Article Title
6/19/2017
Non-Opioid Drug More Effective for Migraines: Study

Alternative treatment yielded better results in emergency room patients

6/9/2017
New Drugs Show Promise as First to Prevent Migraine

Doctors now rely on medications approved for other purposes

6/8/2017
Migraine Warning Signs May Differ in Kids, Adults

Treating before a headache starts might lead to more effective pain relief, specialist says

4/13/2017
Migraine and Weight

Both obesity and being underweight increase migraine risk, study finds.

4/12/2017
A Healthier Weight May Mean Fewer Migraines

Study found risk increased in both obese and underweight people

3/6/2017
Study Ties Some Migraines to Artery Tears in Neck, Raising Stroke Risk

Problem also more likely in men and patients under 39, though chances are still low

3/6/2017
Nasal 'Nerve Block' May Help Ease Kids' Migraines

But one headache expert says procedure not without risks, pain relief not significantly better than meds

3/1/2017
Wireless Arm Patch May Blunt Migraine Pain

Study found electrical stimulation reduced ache if started soon enough

2/22/2017
'Off-Label' Antidepressants Common, But Where's the Evidence?

One-third are prescribed for conditions like pain or migraine with little scientific backup, study says

1/11/2017
Migraine Linked to Higher Stroke Risk After Surgery

The risk is small, but concerning, researchers say

1/2/2017
Cluster Headaches Can Defy Diagnosis But Respond to Treatment

Pain is so intense it often wakes people from their sleep, neurologist says

11/15/2016
Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again

Researchers suggest doctors consider severe headaches a potential risk factor for brain attack

10/27/2016
Study Questions Use of Migraine Meds in Kids, Teens

Researchers found sugar pill worked as well as commonly prescribed drugs

10/18/2016
Mouth and Gut Germs May Be Linked to Migraines

People who get the severe headaches have more nitrate-reducing microbes, researchers say

10/11/2016
For Migraine Sufferers, Is a Chiropractor's Touch All in the Mind?

Study participants who had sham treatment reported pain relief, too

10/7/2016
Migraines and Chiropractic Therapy

Does chiropractic spinal manipulation help prevent migraines?

9/29/2016
Can You Blame Your Headaches on Your Thyroid?

People with migraines had 40 percent higher risk of thyroid problems, study suggests

9/16/2016
Sound Waves: An Rx for High Blood Pressure, Migraine?

Sound therapy balances brain signals, researcher says

6/26/2016
Homing In on the Genetics of Migraine

International team reports 30 new variants

6/10/2016
Vitamin Deficiencies Common in Young Migraine Sufferers

But study couldn't determine if supplements made a difference

6/8/2016
Experimental Drug Acts Fast Against Chronic Migraine

Begins working within 3 to 7 days, study finds

6/1/2016
Exploring the Link Between Estrogen and Migraines

Study sees big drop in levels of the female hormone in the days before menstruation

6/1/2016
Women With Migraine May Face Higher Threat of Heart Disease, Stroke

Researchers say it should be considered an independent risk factor for future heart trouble

5/31/2016
Migraines Take Toll on Spouse

Family activities, parenting duties often affected, survey finds

5/24/2016
Health Tip: Have Headaches? Speak to Your Doctor

Learn as much as possible about your condition

5/17/2016
Giving the 'Green Light' to Migraine Relief

Experimental light therapy finds it can ease sensitivity, pain for some patients

4/18/2016
Botox Can Be Used for Chronic Migraine, Experts Say

American Academy of Neurology issues new guideline on use of the drug

3/11/2016
Severe Migraines Linked to Complications During Pregnancy, Childbirth

Women older than 35 appear most at risk, study finds

3/2/2016
Emotional Abuse During Childhood Linked to Adult Migraine Risk

But no similar association seen with physical, sexual abuse, researchers report

2/23/2016
Do Genes Link Headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Study finds evidence of shared DNA, but more research is needed

2/17/2016
Stroke Risk May Be Greater for Certain Migraine Sufferers: Studies

Patients having visual disturbances or taking estrogen face increased odds, researchers suggest

1/22/2016
Migraines May Worsen as Menopause Approaches

Researchers say hormonal changes and painkiller overuse may be to blame

1/15/2016
Marijuana May Help Treat, Prevent Migraines, Study Says

Average number of headaches cut in half, but experts say more research needed

12/11/2015
Asthma Linked to Chronic Migraines in Some People

Study suggests odds doubled for those with the airway disease

11/6/2015
Sleepwalkers Feel No Pain When Injured: Study

But they're more likely to get headaches and migraines when awake, researchers added

9/9/2015
Blood Test Might One Day Help Spot Migraines

Researchers found levels of certain fats indicated which women suffered debilitating headaches

7/30/2015
Older Smokers With Migraines May Face Added Stroke Risk

Study finds no increased risk among nonsmokers

7/3/2015
Childhood Trauma Tied to Migraine Risk as Adult

Study found witnessing parental domestic violence produced most powerful association

7/2/2015
Migraine's Link to Higher Heart Disease Risk May Not Be Genetic

Study suggests non-genetic factors may be what increases risk

6/25/2015
Surgery May Help Teens With Frequent Migraines, Study Contends

At least one expert questions whether improvements are due to the procedure

6/18/2015
New Drugs Might Prevent Migraines Before They Start

Injectable medications appear promising in early trials, but more research needed

6/18/2015
High School Football Players May Be at Doubled Risk of Migraine

Head injuries likely play a role in these headaches, second study suggests

6/17/2015
Most Children With Migraines Don't Get Proven Treatments: Study

Nearly half don't get any pain relievers at all, researcher adds

6/17/2015
Many Migraine Sufferers Given Narcotic Painkillers, Barbiturates

These are a poor choice, especially for children, doctors say

6/5/2015
Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Many women have fewer headaches while expecting, experts say

4/23/2015
Chronic Migraines Take Big Toll on Families, Survey Finds

Debilitating headaches meant less participation in family activities, canceled plans each month

4/17/2015
Migraines Often Undiagnosed, Doctor Says

Proper identification of headache type can lead to better treatment

4/17/2015
Migraines and Family Life

Most migraine sufferers believe their condition makes life more difficult for loved ones, survey finds

4/9/2015
Migraine Drug May Up Risk of Eating Disorders in Some Teens

Case reports don't prove the medicine caused problems, however

3/30/2015
Migraine, Carpal Tunnel May Be Linked

Patients with one are more than twice as likely to have the other, study says