Skip to main content

Search
Safety and Wellness

A to Z: Migraine

|

A migraine is a recurring headache that causes intense throbbing in a particular area of the head.

More to Know

Migraines often include symptoms of nausea; dizziness; and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Sensory warning signs, called auras, sometimes signal that a migraine is coming on. Most auras are visual disturbances like flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or blind spots.

Migraines can be debilitating, lasting anywhere from hours to several days. Migraines are thought to be related to changes in the brain as well as genetic factors (they tend to run in families). Common migraine triggers include sleep disturbances, stress, diet, and hormonal changes.

Medications can be prescribed to help ease migraine symptoms. Lying down in a quiet, dark place and keeping hydrated can be very helpful.

Keep in Mind

Migraines are common, affecting about 12% of the U.S. population. While they can be disabling, forcing students to miss school and activities, most can be managed with medication and lifestyle changes. The best treatment is, when possible, avoiding triggers that bring on the migraines.

Frequent or severe headaches should be evaluated by a doctor to determine the cause and best treatment plan.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

License

Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses and treatment, consult your doctor.

© 1995–2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Should your child see a doctor?

Find out by selecting your child’s symptom or health condition in the list below:

Summer 2014: Good Growing Newsletter

In This Issue

  • Understanding the Power and Influence of Role Models
  • Legal Marijuana Means Greater Poisoning Risks for Children
  • Why Choose Pediatric Emergency Care?

Download Summer 2014 (PDF)

Videos

Miracle Makers 2014 3:07:00Expand
6.6.14

The 30th annual Miracle Makers fundraising special aired on KOMO 4 TV on June 6, 2014. The special takes us on a journey through the hopes, fears, victories and challenges facing patients at Seattle Children's. Cosponsored by Costco Wholesale and KOMO 4. 

Play Video
Overcoming the Odds: A KING 5 TV Children's HealthLink Special 0:44:45Expand
12.30.13

In the spirit of the holidays, patients, parents and doctors share inspirational stories of healing and hope. From surviving heart failure and a near-death drowning to battling a flesh-eating disease, witness how the impossible became possible thanks to the care patients received at Seattle Children's Hospital.

Play Video
Miracle Season 2013 0:57:06Expand
12.11.13

Miracle Season, hosted by Steve Pool and Molly Shen, aired Dec. 8, 2013, on KOMO 4 TV. The annual holiday special celebrates the remarkable lives of Seattle Children's patients.

Play Video