There are headaches, and then there are migraine headaches. Any headache can make you miserable, but a migraine can be excruciating. In fact, the most severe migraine headaches can just about bring you to your knees.
Most people who suffer from migraines will have a first attack by the age of 30. Often they begin in childhood and then increase in frequency in adolescence. The condition usually continues through the thirties and forties, but attacks tend to decrease in frequency and severity with age, and they are rare after age 50.
More than 28 million Americans who suffer from migraine headaches. Their frequency and severity varies from person to person, but they strike women three times more often than men. And if there is a history of migraine in your family, there is an 80 percent chance you will have them as well.
Some people with these painful headaches will experience a variety of visual symptoms--such as flashing lights, blind spots, or zigzag patterns--either before or during the headaches themselves. Migraines make many people feel nauseous or light-headed. Vomiting and an extreme sensitivity to light and sound are other common symptoms. A migraine can incapacitate you for hours or even days.