What is a Migraine?

  • A headache of varying intensity often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound that affects more than 3 million people in the US each year.
  • Migraine headaches are sometimes preceded by warning symptoms.
  • Migraines are often brought on by one or more triggers including hormonal changes, certain foods and drinks, stress, and exercise.
  • Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.
  • Preventive and pain-relieving medications can help manage migraine headaches.

How do I know if I have a migraine?

Migraines are considered self-diagnosable. Migraine headaches can cause throbbing in one particular area that can vary in intensity. Nausea and sensitivity to light and sound are also common symptoms.


People may experience...

Pain areas: in the face or neck

Pain types: can be dull

Headache: can be acute, frequent, severe, or throbbing

Whole body: dizziness, lightheadedness, or malaise

Sensory: sensitivity to light, aura, or sensitivity to sound

Gastrointestinal: nausea or vomiting

Visual: distorted vision or seeing flashes of light

Also common: irritability, nasal congestion, or scalp tenderness

Symptoms associated with a migraine headache include:

  • nausea
  • pain behind one eye or ear
  • pain in the temples
  • seeing spots or flashing lights
  • sensitivity to light and/or sound
  • temporary vision loss
  • vomiting

Quick Facts about Migraines

  • Affects 38 Mil in US, 1 Bil worldwide
  • 6th most disabling illness in the world.
  • Every 10 seconds, someone in the U.S. goes to the ER for head pain, and approximately 1.2 million visits are for acute migraine attacks.
  • Chronic daily migraines affect over 4 million people, with at least 15 migraine days per month.
  • More than 90% of sufferers are unable to work or function normally during their migraine.

Migraine - not just a bad headache.

  • Migraine is an extremely incapacitating collection of neurological symptoms.
  • Typically a severe throbbing recurring pain, on one side of the head. But in about 1/3 of attacks, both sides are affected.
  • Common symptoms of a migraine attack include:
  • visual disturbances
  • nausea, vomiting & dizziness
  • extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell
  • tingling or numbness in the extremities or face
  • 25% experience an aura, a visual disturbance which usually lasts less than an hour.
  • In 15-20% of attacks, other neurological symptoms occur before the actual head pain.
  • Attacks usually last between 4 and 72 hours.

Migraine is a chronic disease that significantly diminishes their quality of life.

  • More than 4 million adults experience chronic daily migraine – with at least 15 migraine days per month.
  • Medication overuse is the most common reason why episodic migraine turns chronic.
  • Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are common for those with chronic migraine.
  • Over 20% of chronic migraine sufferers are disabled, and the likelihood of disability increases sharply with the number of comorbid conditions.

Migraine disproportionately affects women.

  • Migraine affects about 28 million women in the U.S.
  • 85% of chronic migraine sufferers are women.
  • Before puberty, boys are affected more than girls, but during adolescence, the risk of migraine and its severity rises in girls.
  • Roughly 1 in 4 women will experience migraine in their lives.
  • Three times as many women as men suffer from migraine in adulthood.
  • About half of female sufferers have more than one attack each month, and a quarter experience 4 or more severe attacks per month.
  • More severe and more frequent attacks often result from fluctuations in estrogen levels.

Migraine affects kids, too.

  • Migraine often goes undiagnosed in children.
  • About 10% of school-age children suffer from migraine.
  • Half of all migraine sufferers have their first attack before the age of 12. Migraine has even been reported in children as young as 18 months. Recently, infant colic was found to be associated with childhood migraine and may even be an early form of migraine.
  • Children who suffer are absent from school twice as often as children without migraine.
  • In childhood, boys suffer from migraine more often than girls; as adolescence approaches, the incidence increases more rapidly in girls than in boys.
  • A child who has one parent with migraine has a 50% chance of inheriting it, and if both parents have migraine, the chances rise to 75%.


Statistics provided by The Migraine Research Foundation


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