The National Women's Health Information Center explains that 29.5 million people in the United States suffer from migraines, with migraines occurring in women more often than men. A severe type of headache, a migraine causes throbbing pain on either one or both sides of the patient's head. Migraines occur in people between the ages of 15 and 55, and they may become less severe and frequent as patients age.
Some patients who have migraines also have an aura, which is a “warning sign” that they are about to have a migraine. MedlinePlus notes that patients who have migraines with aura have the aura 10 to 15 minutes before the onset of the migraine. The MayoClinic.com explains that the most common aura feature is a visual disturbance, such as a loss of vision, flashes of light or blind spots. People who have these visual auras may see them starting in the center of their visual field and then see them spread out. Other symptoms that may occur with the visual aura include confusion, language problems and numbness.
In two new studies, which were both published the British Medical Journal, note that people who have migraines with aura may have an increased risk of a stroke or heart disease. HealthDay News reports that the first study included 18,725 men and women from Iceland who had midlife migraines; these participants were born between 1907 and 1935.
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