The newsLINK Group - Managing Migraines and Cluster Headaches

Editorial Library Category: Associations & Membership Topics: Activism, PAC Title: Grassroot Activism: The Art of Growing Change Author: newsLINK Staff Synopsis: The truth is that politics are a necessary part of modern life. We rely on each other to talk and get the things done in our neighborhoods, cities, states, and country. Editorial: Grassroot Activism: The Art of Growing Change 4064 South Highland Drive, Millcreek, Utah 84124 │ │ (v) 801.676.9722 │ (tf) 855.747.4003 │ (f) 801.742.5803 Editorial Library | © The newsLINK Group LLC 1 Migraines and cluster headaches hurt, so much so that if you have one, you will probably have to cancel all other plans until the headache subsides again. The pain of a migraine demands time and attention, sometimes for a long time. Although the average is four hours to 72 hours, there are people who have migraines that last even longer. Those who suffer with chronic migraines (defined as eight headaches a month or more) sometimes get more than 15 headaches every month. As a result, it becomes hard to work or socialize with family or friends. Migraines can also pose a serious health risk. A person who experiences a migraine that lasts for more than three or four days, for example, has an increased risk for a stroke. The pain from cluster headaches is as serious as the pain from a migraine. In fact, those who get them say they cause excruciating pain, and some people call them suicide headaches because they are so severe. It can feel as though someone has taken a drill or a hot poker and applied it to your eye. Duration varies between about 15 minutes and three hours, but as the name suggests, they come in clusters. A person might experience as many as eight in a single day, or might be forced to deal with them for several weeks. Risk Factors Migraines can start in childhood. If they do, equal numbers of boys and girls are likely to get them up until puberty. At that point, approximately 75 percent of the people who get migraines are women. Migraines are most frequent, and most intense, between the ages of 20 and 60. Some people don’t have migraines anymore after they have turned 60. Of those who suffer from migraines, some 20 percent will experience a classic migraine where they experience visual warning signs an hour or less before the migraine hits full- force. The visual warning signs might consist of seeing dots, wavy lines, or blurriness. Twenty-five percent, approximately, experience what is called a prodromal phase for as much as a day in advance of the migraine. This can involve mood changes, odd smells and tastes, and feelings of tension or fatigue. There’s a genetic component to migraines. If you have relatives who suffer from migraines, it’s more likely that you will have them as well. Migraines are also associated with people who suffer from the following: Anxiety Asthma Depression Epilepsy Neurologic and genetic disorders Stroke Men are two to four times more likely to have cluster headaches than women. Even so, only one person in a thousand is likely to experience them. Adults are more likely to have cluster headaches than children, but it’s not impossible for a child who is as young as 6 years old to have them. Classifying Headaches How can you tell what kind of headache you have? The following table can help. Relevant Information Headache Types Tension Migraine Cluster Headache Warning Signs None Optical migraines and common migraines can strike without advance signs. For classic migraines, people experience the following: Feeling tired and irritable, or feeling Either no warning signs or warning signs that resemble the warnings for a classic migraine.