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A migraine is a strong, pounding, painful headache. Pain can be felt on one side or both sides of the head. A migraine can last for hours or days, and the pain can be disabling.

Some people have migraines several times a month, while others have them less often.

What causes migraines?

It’s difficult to pinpoint the causes of migraines. They could be caused by family history, hormonal changes in women or imbalances in brain chemicals.

Other sources could be weather changes and other environmental factors, intense physical activity, stress or lack of sleep. Women are three times more likely to suffer from migraines than men.

Certain foods and drinks, such as salty foods, cheeses, processed foods, sweeteners, alcohol and highly caffeinated drinks, might also trigger migraines.

What are migraine symptoms?

The most common symptoms of a migraine are:

  • Throbbing or pulsating headache
  • Sensitivity to light, noise and smells
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Lethargy, or lack of energy
  • Dizziness or lightheadedness

Some migraine sufferers experience flashes of light or wavy, zigzag vision before or during migraines. These visual disturbances are called auras.

How are migraines treated?

Talk with your healthcare provider about the best migraine treatment, which can include:

  • Rest in a quiet, dark room
  • A hot or cold cloth to your head or neck
  • Massage
  • A small amount of caffeine
  • Over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Prescription medicines to relieve pain

How can migraines be prevented?

You can help prevent or shorten a migraine attack by developing these healthy habits:

  • Set regular sleep hours
  • Keep a food journal to figure out possible migraine triggers
  • Avoid foods that trigger your migraine
  • Exercise regularly
  • Lower your stress level

CareNow® Can Help

If you think you have a migraine and need advice on how to manage it, CareNow® urgent care can help. Locate the nearest CareNow® urgent care clinic to set up a visit.

You can minimize your wait time with our Web Check-In®.

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