Thirty-six million Americans – about 12% of the population – suffer from migraine headaches. Migraine is not the normal headaches you may have experienced, but instead is a different disorder with unique symptoms and different treatment.
The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) reminds us of these migraine facts as part of this year’s initiative.
- Migraine is three times more common in women than men.
- Although most people with migraine have one or two attacks per month, 3% of the population has chronic migraine headaches with at least 15 days of headache each month for at least 6 months.
- Migraine costs the U.S. more than $20 billion each year, attributed to direct medical expenses and missed work or lost productivity.
- Migraine is listed by the World Health Organization as one of the 20 most disabling medical illness on the planet.
There is no cure for migraine. Treatments are aimed at reducing headache frequency and stopping individual headaches as the occur, and can include medications, lifestyle changes, trigger avoidance, behavioral therapy or physical therapy.
How do you know if you’re experiencing migraine? If you answer yes to at least two questions below, don’t tough it out. You should see a doctor.
- Is your head pain severe, hard to endure, maybe even unbearable?
- Is the head pain a throbbing sensation, often on one side of your head?
- When having head pain, do you experience nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light, noise and odors?
- Does your head pain worsen with physical activity or any type of movement?
- Is your head pain severe enough to cause you to miss work or other activities, or to affect your performance when doing those things?
- Does your head pain last longer than four hours, perhaps for even several days?
For more information, visit the AMF online and americanmigrainefoundation.org.