June is Migraine Awareness month and although 36 million people in the United States suffer with migraine headaches, researchers have still found no cure.
How much do you know about migraine headaches?
1. Migraine headaches are always accompanied by aura, nausea and vomiting. True or False
False. While "with aura" are accompanied by visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, dizziness, extreme sensitivity to sound, light, touch and smell, "migraines without aura" can occur with severe pain but no other aura-like symptoms.
2. Caffeine can relieve migraines. True or False
True. Caffeine is a common ingredient in many prescription and over-the-counter headache medications. Caffeine additives make pain relievers 40 percent more effective in treating headaches.
Caffeine also helps the body absorb headache drugs more quickly, bringing faster relief. By adding caffeine and, in turn, taking less medication, you can reduce the risk for potential side effects and possible drug addiction.
3. All migraines occur on the one side of the head. True or False
False. The unilateral headaches typically change sides from one attack to the next and 1/3 of the attacks can occur on both sides or the back of the head.
(Warning, a new headache with pain that occurs on the same side of the head should alert the doctor to consider other issues such as a brain tumor.)
4. Migraine affects women than men. True or False
True. Approximately 27 million female sufferers are in the United States, most during peak reproductive years. More severe and more frequent attacks often happen around the monthly cycle as a result of fluctuations in estrogen levels.
5. A migraine and tension headache are the same thing. True or False
False. Although stress can bring on a migraine, the mild to moderate pain from a tension headache is often described as feeling like a tight band around your head.