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Migraine - More than a Headache

Migraine is a common clinical problem characterized by episodic attacks of head pain and associated symptoms such as nausea, sensitivity to light, sound, or head movement. It is generally thought of as a headache problem, but it has become apparent in recent years that many patients suffer symptoms from migraine who do not have severe headaches as a dominant symptom. These patients may have a primary complaint of dizziness, of ear pain, of ear or head fullness, "sinus" pressure, and even fluctuating hearing loss. Fortunately, treatment regimens long established for the treatment of "classic" migraine headaches are generally effective against these "atypical" symptoms of migraine.

There are currently 28 million Americans with "classic" migraine headaches. In a room with 100 people, 13 are likely to have migraine. This is as common as diabetes and asthma combined. The number of people suffering with atypical forms of migraine is unknown. Females are 3 times more likely to have migraine than males. Although any person can have migraine at any age, migraine is most common between ages 30 and 50. The peak incidence of migraine in females occurs at 35 years of age—at this age, 28% of all females have migraine headaches. The peak incidence of migraine in men occurs at 30 years ofage—at this age, about 10% of all males have migraine headaches.

Migraine is a lifelong problem. It may start in childhood and disappear and reappear in new forms throughout an individual's life. In general, there is a decrease in headache intensity and an increasein the incidence of atypical symptoms of migraine (vertigo, ear pain, bowel symptoms, etc) as patients mature.

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Migraine - More than a Headache