Migraine and Headache Facts and Tips

How to Better Deal With Migraine and Headaches

  • There are about 28 million people living in the US who experience migraines.1 But 3 times as many women than men experience migraines:2 About 70% of all migraine sufferers are women.1
  • Migraines usually start during the adolescent year or in the 20s.1 But about half of all migraine sufferers have their first attack before the age of 12.2
  • Nine out of 10 adults experience a headache at some point in their lives, and about 50 million Americans experience frequent headaches.3
  • There are 3 main types of headaches: cluster headaches, tension headaches, and migraines. Tension headaches are the most common. Many people are prone to experiencing one type of headache, but some people can have a combination of headaches.
  • On average, people who experience migraines have 2 attacks every month. Migraines typically last 4 to 72 hours, and they tend to occur in phases: the pre-headache phase, the actual headache, and the post-headache phase.1
  • Many people who have migraines experience an aura. When you have a migraine with aura, you may have a temporary change in vision, such as blind spots and seeing flashing lights or colored lines that aren't really there.
  • Tension headaches and migraines are often triggered by something, such as weather changes, eating certain foods (eg, chocolate, aged cheeses), or not being able to handle stress effectively.
  • Symptoms can vary, depending on what type of headache you have. For example, in addition to head pain, with cluster headaches you can experience red eyes and a runny nose; with tension headaches, your forehead may feel like it's being squeezed; and with migraines, you can have difficulty concentrating and slurred speech.
  • Researchers can't exactly pinpoint what causes migraines and headaches, but some headaches and migraines may be caused by female hormones, such as estrogen. For example, women approaching menopause or taking birth control pills may be more at risk of developing migraines and/or headaches.
  • There are many ways to treat migraines and headaches. Over-the-counter medications and prescription medications can help reduce the intensity and frequency of attacks. However, there are other ways to manage migraines and headaches. For example, acupuncture, massage, and mind-body techniques (eg, yoga) can help you deal with migraine and headache-related pain and other symptoms.

Updated on: 11/19/15