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Migraine Headache FAQs

What are migraine headaches?

Migraines are disabling headaches that most likely stem from problems with the nerves and blood vessels in the head. Migraine headaches typically last from 4-72 hours. They may occur as often as several times a week to only once a year. People who have migraines are called migraineurs.

Migraine headaches affect a signifigant percentage of the population. Three times as many women as men have migraines. Most of migraineurs have family members who have migraines. The following types of migraine headache have been identified:

  • Migraine without aura (common migraine): This type accounts for most migraine headaches. There is no aura before a common migraine.
  • Migraine with aura (classic migraine): This type is usually preceded by an aura and is usually much worse than a common migraine.Most often, an aura is a visual disturbance (outlines of lights or jagged light images).
  • Status migrainosus: This is the term used to describe a long-lasting migraine that does not go away by itself.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/24/2014
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