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Migraine: Just The Facts

Migraine is one of the most common health disorders.

It affects the body’s nervous system and lots of research is being done into what exactly causes them. Despite what people might say, it is much more than just a headache! In fact, migraine can affect the whole body and can result in many symptoms, sometimes without a headache at all.

Facts and Stats

  • 1 in 7 people in the UK suffer from migraine
  • Migraine affects around 18% of 13–14 year olds
  • After the age of 12, females are three times more likely to be affected
  • A migraine attack can last from 4 to 72 hours
  • Migraine is amongst the top 20 most disabling lifetime conditions
  • Sufferers under 30 are at least six times more likely to suffer from depression

Symptoms

Those who suffer with migraine will understand how challenging, painful and inconvenient it can be. Symptoms are different for everyone and many younger children experience ‘abdominal migraines’ with no headache at all.

Your symptoms may include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea, vomiting and abdominal pain
  • Visual changes (blind spots, zig zags, flashing lights, etc)
  • Feeling sensitive to light, sound or smells
  • Pins and needles
  • Tingling or numbness in limbs
  • Dizziness/vertigo
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Slurring and speech problems

Managing your migraine

Whilst there is no cure for migraine itself, there are a range of treatments available that can help to prevent them or reduce suffering. The best treatment will depend on many things including your age, weight, medical history, how often you have an attack and the severity of them.

Many young people find that making lifestyle changes, avoiding their triggers (10 possible triggers of a migraine) or taking over-the-counter painkillers can be enough to reduce their suffering. Some may find that getting some rest or lying down in a dark room enables them to recover and cope with the condition. However, this is not always the case and we recommend talking to your GP if you feel that further treatment is needed.

 

How to get help

If you have any more questions on this area or would like to speak to somebody about this topic, have a look at the links or search for your local services in the blue box below. Alternatively you can always contact your public health nurse.

Cross Hatch

Find help in your local area

Find out what services are available to you in your area. Remember your school nurse is always there to give you confidential help and support.