A migraine is a recurring headache that causes intense throbbing in a particular area of the head.
More to Know
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.
Keep in Mind
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.Back to Articles
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.Read More
Headaches affect kids as well as adults. Learn about common causes and when to talk to a doctor.Read More
Almost everyone gets headaches. So how do you know if a headache is just a passing pain or something more?Read More
First Aid: Headaches
Headaches are rarely a sign of something serious. Here's what to do if your child has a headache.Read More
Is it Common to Get Migraines Before Your Period?
Find out what the experts have to say.Read More
If you've ever had a migraine, you know that these headaches can cause severe pain and other symptoms. Read about migraine causes, treatments, prevention tips, and lots more.Read More