Migraine Headache FAQs (cont.)
Edward Lubin, MD, PhD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
IN THIS ARTICLE
How dangerous are migraine headaches?
Although migraine headaches are excruciating, they are seldom life threatening. They are harmful to a person's quality of life, however, and sometimes cause depression and/or anxiety disorders, especially if the headaches are uncontrolled by medication or other therapies. Doctors conduct thorough examinations and tests of persons with migraine headaches in order to rule out truly life-threatening possibilities like tumors or bleeding in the brain.
Not all severe headaches are migraines. Headaches can be warnings of more serious conditions. The following signs (what doctors find) or symptoms (what patients report) are reasons for concern:
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Although migraine is a term applied to certain headaches with a vascular quality, overwhelming evidence suggests that migraine is a dominantly inherited disorder characterized by varying degrees of recurrent vascular-quality headache, photophobia, sleep disruption, and depression. border=
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