Headaches & Migraines

There are many different types of headaches, the most common being migraine, tension, and cluster. More than 70% of Americans will suffer headache pain severe enough to compel them to seek medical attention at some point during their lifetimes. A small but substantial minority of patients experience chronic daily or near daily headaches, which significantly impacts the quality of their lives and the lives of their families.

What are symptoms of migraine headaches?

In some cases, migraine headaches are preceded or accompanied by a sensory warning sign (aura), such as flashes of light, blind spots or tingling in your arm or leg. A migraine is also often accompanied by other signs and symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. Migraine pain can be excruciating and may incapacitate you for hours or even days. Migraine headaches can be severe and debilitating, with side effects such as upset stomach, blurred vision, and sensitivity to light and noise. Migraines are more common in women than in me, and typically begin to appear in early adulthood. They may be caused by heredity, chemical imbalances in the brain, or triggers such as stress, hormones, weather, and certain types of food.

What are symptoms of tension headaches?

Tension headaches are tight and aching, and may last for several hours. They can be triggered by intense emotional periods, poor posture, and clenching of the facial and neck muscles.

What are symptoms of cluster headaches?

Cluster headaches have a quick onset, with intense pain arising on one side of the head and associated with symptoms of a bloodshot eye, runny nose, and sweating. These headaches have a shorter duration than migraines but are just as painful, if not more so.

What are causes for headaches and migraines?

There are a wide variety of known as well as assumed migraine and headache causes. It appears that most of these migraine causes "trigger" a change in brain chemistry, mostly related to decreasing levels of serotonin, which seems to be related to the formation of migraines. The triggers that lead to migraine and headaches are widely varied. These factors can be classified broadly as physical, hormonal, chemical, dietary, behavioral, or environmental.

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