What Are Migraines?

If someone has ever mentioned having a migraine and you responded with a comment about it just being a headache, then you've been fortunate enough to never have suffered from a migraine - otherwise you'd never make that comment in the first place. A migraine does more than cause a bit of pain in your temples or that spot over the bridge of your nose where you get a sinus headache. This nervous system disease saps your strength, causes nausea and even makes the sufferer unable to see properly.
If you're thinking that migraines aren't very common, these statistics may surprise you:
* In developed areas, migraines are as much as 300 to 500 percent more common than in third world and Asian countries.
* More than 500,000,000 (five hundred million) people have migraines every year.
Since millions of people worldwide suffer from migraines each year, this disease is actually fairly serious. A migraine is not just a little headache - they cause people to lose work time, miss out on family events and generally enjoy life less than people who don't get them.
So what exactly are migraine headaches and where do they come from?
There are actually two types of migraines. If you've been suffering from migraines and have a common migraine, it hits without warning. If you have a classic migraine, you do get some warning that it is coming, but the warning isn't a nice one and is almost as bad as the headache itself. Anywhere from ten to thirty minutes before the actual headache hits, people who suffer from classic migraines will have something called an aura. Auras can include many symptoms, but visual difficulties, such as flashing lights, zig-zag lines and temporary loss of vision, are the most common warning signs. Other aura symptoms are difficulty with speech, feeling confused, tingling in the face or hands and weakness in arms or legs.
Migraine sufferers don't always feel pain on both sides of their heads. This is because these headaches are unilateral, or on one side. Most people develop a headache around one eye or one side of their jaw and neck. As the migraine persists, it will envelope the rest of that side of the head. During a bad migraine, noise or light can worsen the pain and the sufferer may vomit from the pain they experience.
Another term for a migraine is vascular headache. This means that the headache happens because the blood vessels around and inside your skull change their shape and size. This is what actually causes the migraine pain and what makes it so difficult to treat at times.
Children rarely suffer from migraines. Teen boys develop migraines earlier than girls who will eventually suffer from this disease. However, in later years, women will be more likely to develop migraines than men. The good news is that, for many people, episodes of this nervous system disease eventually becomes less intense and less frequent. The bad news is that migraines can last for quite some time. There have been cases where these headaches lasted for as long as two weeks, although a range of a few hours to two days is more common. Some people have migraines several times a week, while others only have two or three episodes a year.
Finally, although more than one person has feared that the terrible pain of a migraine is because of a brain tumor, migraines are not caused by an underlying disease. They are very painful and dehabilitating while they are happening, but they aren't fatal at all.
There are ways to deal with, cope and even treat your migraine headache and you can find more information, from a fellow, migraine sufferer by following the resource section at the bottom of this article.
Got another throbbing migraine and just sick and tired of the pain? Find out more about the cause for migraine headaches now. Learn how to combat and defeat your migraine headaches one and for all at http://www.migrainehelper.com
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