Migraine affects 40 million people in the U.S. June is National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM). The purpose is to build a stronger community of patient advocates by increasing public knowledge and addressing stigmas. This year’s theme is ‘A New Era of Care’. It focuses on increasing options for migraine patients and the impact of COVID-19 on them.
Differentiating Migraine and Headaches
Understanding the type of headaches you’re experiencing helps you to manage your condition effectively. Some headache disorders are triggered by an underlying cause (secondary). These often resolve with treatment. Migraine is in a group where the headache is the main problem and not a symptom of a condition (primary).
Headaches and migraine headaches differ in ways, and each has several subtypes to break symptoms further down:
- Pain occurring around the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. They can vary in duration and severity (mild to severe) and symptoms of injuries and infections.
- Cluster, tension, and sinus headaches are a few examples.
- Migraine pain typically occurs on one side of the head ranging from moderate to severe. Other symptoms often accompany the migraine. Nausea, vomiting, and light and noise sensitivities, are examples. Attacks usually last from 4 to 72 hours. Certain factors are involved in triggering an attack in those with a predisposition to migraine including lifestyle, and hormonal changes.
- Migraines are classified into two categories: migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Each is based upon the sensations felt in the moments before an attack.
Migraine and headaches differ in treatments too. For example, most headache symptoms are relieved with over-the-counter medications. However, migraines are managed by avoiding triggers and medications that lessen attack frequency and reduce pain and other symptoms.
Join the Movement
This month, the dedication of several days to shining a brighter spotlight on particular aspects of migraine and headache diseases throughout this month. View the event list here. MHAM also strives to advance how we manage headache disorders and improve the lives of patients living with them. In addition, multiple fundraisers help provide the resources researchers need to learn more about headache disorders and improve the options available to treat them.
Clinical research studies help evaluate the safety and effectiveness of potential new therapies. Individuals participating in these studies make medical advances possible. If you suffer from migraines, clinical research studies are a great way to give back and advance migraine medicine. To learn more about migraine studies enrolling with us at Charlottesville Medical Research, call (434) 817-2442, or visit our website.