A migraine is a recurring headache that causes intense throbbing in a particular area of the head.
Migraines often include symptoms of nausea; dizziness; and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Sensory warning signs, called auras, sometimes signal that a migraine is coming on. Most auras are visual disturbances like flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or blind spots.
Migraines can be debilitating, lasting anywhere from hours to several days. Migraines are thought to be related to changes in the brain as well as genetic factors (they tend to run in families). Common migraine triggers include sleep disturbances, stress, diet, and hormonal changes.
Medications can be prescribed to help ease migraine symptoms. Lying down in a quiet, dark place and keeping hydrated can be very helpful.
Migraines are common, affecting about 12% of the U.S. population. While they can be disabling, forcing students to miss school and activities, most can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. The best treatment is, when possible, avoiding triggers that bring on the migraines.
Frequent or severe headaches should be evaluated by a doctor to determine the cause and best treatment plan.
All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.
|National Headache Foundation (NHF) NHF's mission is to serve as an information resource for people who get headaches, their families, and the health care providers who treat them.|
|First Aid: Headaches Headaches are rarely a sign of something serious. Here's what to do if your child has a headache.|
|Migraines: What a Pain! A migraine is a really bad kind of headache. Find out more in this article for kids.|
|Migraine Headaches If you've ever had a migraine, you know that these headaches can cause severe pain and other symptoms. Read this article to learn about what causes migraines, migraine treatments, and lots more.|
|Is it Common to Get Migraines Before Your Period? Find out what the experts have to say.|
|Ice Cream Headaches That ice cream cone has quickly given you a bad headache, also known as brain freeze. If you want to know more about the pain, read our article for kids.|
|Headaches Almost everyone gets headaches. So how do you know if a headache is just a passing pain or something more?|
|Brain and Nervous System If the brain is a central computer that controls all the functions of the body, then the nervous system is like a network that relays messages back and forth to different parts of the body. Find out how they work in this Body Basics article.|
|Headaches Headaches affect kids as well as adults. Learn about common causes and when to talk to a doctor.|
What to expect when coming to Akron Children's
For healthcare providers and nurses
Residency & Fellowships, Medical Students, Nursing and Allied Health
For prospective employees and career-seekers
Our online community that provides inspirational stories and helpful information.