It is estimated that 30 million Americans are affected by migraine headaches and the symptoms of migraine that come along with them. Migraines usually begin when a person is between 10 and 40 years of age, but can affect anyone. Most people who suffer from migraines see them decrease in frequency after 50 years of age. Seventy-five percent of all migraine-sufferers are female.
Symptoms of Migraine Headaches
Symptoms of migraine headaches may vary from person to person. Not only is each person’s body affected differently by migraines, but there are actually a few different types of migraine headaches that people suffer from. And each of them has slightly different migraine headache symptoms.
Generally, common migraine headaches cause severe throbbing or pulsing pain in one side of the head, sometimes either at the front or in the back toward the base of the skull.
Migraine headache symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, sometimes even smells. The day prior to getting a migraine headache, many people experience fatigue and mood swings.
Some people experience a migraine headache symptom called aura. Aura is a neurological symptom that precedes a migraine by about 10 to 30 minutes. An aura is mainly visual in nature and can manifest itself in the form of shimmering lights, hallucinations, zigzags and/or flashing lights in the field of vision.
Some people do not experience aura visually. The non-visual aura symptoms of migraine headaches include a body weakness, a tingling and numbness of the face and/or extremities, and difficulties with speech.
Types of Migraine Headache Symptoms
In addition to “regular” migraines, there are a few other types of migraines that cause migraine symptoms that are less common. The ones explained here are abdominal migraines and basilar migraines.
Abdominal Migraines – Abdominal migraines are generally experienced by children. The abdominal pain that these children suffer can last 72 hours. They also may experience paleness or flushing of the face and skin, and/or vomiting. As they get older, these children often stop having abdominal migraines and start having typical symptoms of migraine headaches.
Basilar Migraines – It used to be believed that these migraines were caused by the constriction of the basilar artery. Now it is believed that the cause is more neurological in nature. The pain of basilar migraines is experienced in the back of the head or on both sides. Other signs and symptoms of basilar migraines are slurred speech, double vision and poor coordination. Caution must be exercised with this type of migraine headache because the symptoms can often mimic those of a stroke.
Other less common symptoms of migraine headaches are those caused by ocular migraines and cluster headaches.
There has been a lot of research into the treatment and prevention of migraine headaches. Symptoms of migraine headaches can be extremely debilitating and account for a lot of missed work time, which can be costly to both employer and employee.
The research done has uncovered new treatments and methods of controlling migraine headache symptoms that are more effective than those that existed in the past. There is hope for migraine sufferers at last.