Healthy You - Every Day

More Than a Headache: Migraine Facts and Treatments

1 billion people worldwide suffer from the neurological malady

migraine tips

If you suffer from migraine, you’re not alone. More than 39 million people live with the disabling disease in the U.S.

September is Migraine Awareness Month, a great time for a primer on the topic.

All about migraine

What is migraine? Since one in four U.S. households includes someone living with migraine, you may already have an idea. There’s usually throbbing head pain, often on one side of the head. There can be nausea and sensitivity to light or sound. Some migraine sufferers experience an aura, a visual disturbance that causes the patient to see a variety of things, including light flashes, blind spots, or zigzag lines.

A migraine can last anywhere from four hours to three days, which can mean lost work time and productivity. The National Headache Foundation (NHF) estimates migraine causes $31 billion a year in lost productivity and medication costs. 

There are many people living with migraine that don’t seek medical attention. NHF says 52 percent are undiagnosed by a health care provider.

Facts about migraine:

  • Migraine is often hereditary.
  • Migraine can be episodic (less than 15 days per month) or chronic (more than 15 days per month for three consecutive months).
  • No two people are affected in the same way.
  • Migraine sufferers are more likely to be female, 20 to 50.

Migraine triggers and treatment

There are many things believed to have the ability to cause or trigger migraine, including:

  • Stress
  • Inadequate or poor-quality sleep
  • Light and odors
  • Caffeine or alcohol
  • Hormonal changes during menstruation 

At Lehigh Valley Health Network (LVHN), we partner with you to help relieve all types of headache pain, including migraine. Neurologists with Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute specialize in the treatment of all types of headache pain. We collaborate across the Neuroscience Institute and across LVHN to diagnose and provide effective headache pain prevention and management.

Did you know?

A migraine can last anywhere from four hours to three days, which can mean lost work time and productivity.

Migraine treatment has made great strides over recent decades.

For many types of headache, treatment may include:

  • Medications (preventive, rescue or abortive)
  • Diet changes
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Biofeedback
  • Physical or exercise therapy

Check first with your LVHN primary care provider if you are experiencing migraines or other headaches and, if necessary, they will refer you to Lehigh Valley Fleming Neuroscience Institute doctors who can work with you to help provide the best possible outcomes.

Have a headache?

If you have headache pain that is chronic (every day or most of the time) or have sudden and excruciating headache pain, you should seek medical help.

Learn more

Explore More Articles