Migraine is a severe throbbing headache which affects about 8% of the population.

It is said that about half of migraine patients report their initial attack before the age of 15 years. If the attacks commence before puberty there is a percent chance you will outgrow you migraines by adulthood.

A typical migraine has the onset of an intense throbbing headache often preceded by visual colour disturbances and blurred vision and localising itself on one side of the head and more to the front. It can be accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

Often a migraine headache is associated with periods of stress. In young women migraine often occurs during menstruation - the monthly period.

The contraceptive pill can produce migraine, as can alcohol, noise and glare. Sometimes the need for glasses can produce migraine.

Certain foods for example chocolate, or orange juice can be the cause of these recurring throbbing heads.

A key to treatment is to get early with the medication your doctor prescribes.

You can cut short a severe attack by recognising the first onset of symptoms and starting your medication immediately. Resting in bed in a quiet darkened room may be necessary. If the headache persists and increases in intensity beyond what is usually the case then your doctor should be called to establish the diagnosis and eliminate the possibility of a more serious reasons for you headache. In the case of frequent recurring attacks it may be necessary to take a continuing course of medication to prevent further attacks.

Generally a healthy life style should be pursued - regular aerobic exercise in between attacks, no smoking and easy on the caffeine in coffee, tea and soft drinks.

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