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May also be called: Migraine Without Aura; Migraine; Common Migraine

A migraine is a recurring headache that causes intense throbbing in part of the head. Warning signs, called auras, sometimes signal that a migraine is coming on. A migraine without aura is a migraine headache that happens without an aura.

More to Know

Sometimes, warning signs (auras) — such as flashing lights, zig-zag lines, and blind spots — will signal that a migraine is coming on. Many people get migraines without auras. In addition to pain, migraine headaches can cause nausea, dizziness, and sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells.

Migraines, with or without auras, can make it very hard to do everyday tasks and can last anywhere from hours to several days. Students with migraines might miss school and have trouble doing schoolwork because of headaches.

There is no definite known cause for migraines, but they are thought to be related to changes in the brain. Genes might play a role because migraines also tend to run in families. Many things can trigger a migraine headache, such as tiredness and poor sleep, stress, not eating or drinking enough, and hormonal changes.

A doctor can prescribe medicines to help ease migraine symptoms. Lying down in a quiet, dark place and drinking fluids can be very helpful.

Keep in Mind

Migraines are common. 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.

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

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

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