Migraine is a chronic disabling condition characterized by recurring and debilitating attacks of throbbing pain, typically on one side of the head. It is often associated with sensitivity to light and/or sound, nausea, or less commonly, vomiting.
If you or someone you know has migraines, you understand what a painful and debilitating condition it is. The pain of migraines is real, and can have a negative impact on work, social and family life. Understanding your migraine condition and treatment options is the first step to gaining control over your life.
Migraines require individualized treatment and management. People experience different symptoms that vary in intensity, frequency and impact on their life.
Facts about Migraines:
Migraine remains underdiagnosed, undertreated and misunderstood.
Certain factors can lead to a migraine and are referred to as triggers. Triggers can be internal, such as hormones, stress, or lack of sleep, or external, such as certain foods, lights, noises, or missing or delaying meals. Some triggers can be avoided with simple life-style changes such as staying away from certain foods. However, some triggers are not as avoidable. It is important to identify possible triggers so you can avoid them and perhaps prevent a migraine attack.
Migraine treatment and management should be individual. People experience different symptoms that vary in intensity, frequency and impact on quality of life.
Your healthcare professional is best prepared to diagnose your condition, help you identify what may trigger your migraines and prescribe the best treatment for you.
There are two types of prescription treatments available to treat your migraines:
Migraine Pain Relief Medicines
The goal of migraine pain relief medicines is to effectively and quickly relieve the pain associated with your migraine attack without causing additional side effects. These medications are typically taken when you feel a migraine coming on.
Migraine Prevention Medicine
More than 30 million Americans suffer from migraine. Almost half of all migraine sufferers experience frequent or severe migraines, and, therefore, could benefit from preventive therapy. Unfortunately, due to a lack of awareness, it is estimated that only 5% of migfraneurs who could benefit from migraine preventive therapy are receiving it.
Unlike migraine pain relief medications, which are taken at the onset of an attack, preventive treatments reduce the frequency of migraine attacks and can help prevent migraines from happening in the first place.
According to the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine clinical guidelines, those who may benefit from preventive treatment include:
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