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Migraine: Just The Facts

Migraine is one of the most common health disorders.

Migraines affect the body’s nervous system, and lots of research is being done into what exactly causes them. Despite what people might say, migraines are much more than just a headache! In fact, a migraine can affect the whole body and can result in many symptoms. You may not experience a headache at all.

Facts and Stats

  • 1 in 7 people in the UK suffers from migraines
  • Migraine affects around 18% of 13–14 year olds
  • After the age of 12, females are three times more likely to be affected by migraines than males
  • A migraine attack can last from 4 to 72 hours
  • Migraines are among the top 20 most disabling conditions
  • Sufferers under 30 are at least six times more likely to suffer from depression than those who do not get migraines

Symptoms

Those who suffer with migraines 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 the migraine itself, there are a range of treatments available that can help to prevent them or reduce symptoms. The best treatment for you will depend on many things including your age, weight, medical history, how often you have an attack and the severity your migraines.

Many young people find that making lifestyle changes, avoiding their triggers (9 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 it’s recommended that you talk 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 school nurse.

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