Migraine headaches can be extremely painful, and many patients suffer from chronic bouts of migraine. They can be accompanied by nausea, numbness, light sensitivity, or vomiting. Despite their common occurrence, however, there remains a lot of misunderstanding surrounding migraines. To better understand how to deal with migraine, we will examine some of the most common myths about migraine headaches.
- Migraines are Regular Headaches, Only Worse.
The reality is that there is more difference between a headache and a migraine than just the severity. Migraine is actually just one symptom of a more complex disorder, a genetic neurological one in fact. Migraines may occur without any headache symptoms, and to be diagnosed as a migraine, there must be other symptoms present besides headaches.
- Migraines are a Strictly Adult Issue
Migraines can affect patients at any age. They are often more difficult to diagnose in children, because of the difficulty they have in describing their symptoms. To identify the root cause as migraine in children, your doctor need to examine the child’s behavior and investigate family medical history.
- Migraines are Always Accompanied with Aura
Many patients incorrectly believe that a headache can only be a migraine if it with aura. That is, the migraine must always be preceded by visual disorientation (flashing lights, blind spots, etc.), otherwise it is just a headache. Migraines without aura are in fact quite common.
- Causes of Migraines are Psychological in Nature
A mistaken belief among migraine sufferers is that their migraine is caused by factors such as depression or stress. The truth is, migraine is a neurological disease. It is caused by a constriction of cranial blood vessels which triggers responses in the neurotransmitters, resulting in migraine headaches.
- Migraines are Just Painful, Not Life-threatening
Due to its neurological nature, migraine is capable of causing stroke or coma in victims and can be fatal. Other effects from migraine include loss of vision and aneurysm.
- Migraines Don’t Last for More Than a Day
In fact, migraine headaches last on average up to 72 hours, but can sometimes last for many days or even weeks or months.Many chronic migraine (CM) patients have headaches on a daily basis throughout their lives.
- All Migraines are Alike
There are many types of migraines including migraines with or without aura. Such types include retinal, abdominal, and basilar. Migraine headaches differ greatly from one patient to the next, and individual patient sometimes experience more than one type.
- Only Women Get Migraines
Although most migraine sufferers are women, many men also have migraine.
- Any Doctor Will be Able to Properly Diagnose Migraine
A World Health Organization report indicates there is an inadequate understanding of migraine among health care providers.
- Migraines Cannot be Successfully Treated
While there is currently no cure for migraine, there are effective management and treatment options. You should consult with a medical professional with a good understanding of the nature of migraine for the relief you need as a migraine sufferer.
Migraine headaches are more than just bad headaches and can vary in symptoms and root causes. A comprehensive medical evaluation by a properly trained specialist can help with a treatment and management program.