What Are Migraine Headaches?

Migraine headaches are a widespread, well-known condition. Research suggests that they are the most common of all primary headache types. However, they are a type of pain that can severely impact a person’s overall quality of life.

Women appear to be at three times the risk of migraine headaches compared to men. For many female patients, the onset of migraine pain may be related to the stages of their menstrual cycle. Read on to learn the common symptoms and causes of migraines, along with treatments that work.

Migraine Symptoms

Migraine headaches are considered a primary neurological condition. They occur in regular episodes throughout the year that may involve:

  • Extremely severe pain perceived as coming from within the skull
  • Sensations of throbbing on one side of the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Strong sensitivity to external environmental factors such as sound, light, or smells

These symptoms may last anywhere from a number of hours to a number of days.Migraines are regarded as a primary condition in their own right, i.e. not occurring as a symptom of another disorder. However, some symptoms associated with migraine may in fact be signs of serious neurological events.

In rare cases, they may indicate the presence of a brain tumor, aneurysm, or meningitis. If these conditions are suspected, one should seek immediate medical assistance. Signs of a serious event may include:

  • Sudden-onset severe headache pain, especially if such pain is normally unusual for the person in question
  • Aura symptoms, especially if this is not normally experienced
  • Neurological events such as emotional or behavioral abnormalities, sudden falls, loss of balance, dizziness, speech disturbances, confusion, numbness, or tingling
  • Seizure
  • Headache pain severe enough to cause waking from sleep
  • Passing or blacking out
  • Stiffness in the neck
  • Rash or fever accompanied by headache
  • Severe pain that follows head trauma

Check out the following video for more information about migraine headaches.


Types of Migraines

There are few different types of migraines. These include:

  • Ocular migraines, or optical migraines, which cause vision issues along with head pain
  • Hemiplegic migraines, which are severe migraines with stroke-like symptoms
  • Abdominal migraines, where pain is felt in the abdomen instead of the head and is most common in children
  • Vestibular migraines, which are associated with vertigo or dizziness
  • Basilar migraine, which originate near the brain stem or base of the head
  • Menstrual