Posted by: Kelley Dees | June 8, 2011

Headaches & Migraines: What a pain!

June 6-12 is National Headache Awareness Week and the month of June is National Migraine Awareness Month. Today, we’ll look at some frequently asked questions about headaches and migraines!

What is a migraine?

Generally, a migraine starts as a dull ache and then develops into a constant throbbing and pulsating pain that you may feel at the temples, as well as the front or back of one or both sides of the head. This pain is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and/or sensitivity to light and noise.

What is an aura?

About 15-20% of people with migraines get an “aura,” which is a manifestation of neurological symptoms that occurs before a migraine headache. An aura consists of wavy or jagged lines, dots, or flashing lights in your vision. You might also experience tunnel vision or blind spots in one or both eyes. These effects can last up to an hour and will fade as the headache begins. I can speak personally from experience that knowing about auras can help reduce the intensity of a migraine. About two months ago, I noticed my vision blurring one morning. I remembered reading about auras in the past, so I took my migraine medicine and when the migraine started, it only lasted a few hours (as compared to most of mine, which typically last all day).

What is a trigger?

Certain physical or environmental factors can “trigger” a migraine. It’s important to remember that triggers are different for everyone. For me, one particular trigger is long periods in front of a computer screen. Since a large portion of my job involves computer use, I have to be aware when my eyes are starting to get tired from looking at the screen. To help yourself prevent a headache, pay attention to what you are doing immediately before a headache so you can keep track of those triggers. Here is a list of factors that typically contribute to headaches.

What is a tension headache?

Tension headaches occur randomly and are often the result of temporary stress, anxiety, fatigue, or anger.

What is a cluster headache?

Cluster headaches are called that because the attacks come in groups.  This type of headache has been described as the most severe and intense of any headache type.

What is a sinus headache?

When sinuses become inflamed (usually the result of an allergic reaction or infection), the inflammation will cause a localized pain.

Where can I get more information about migraines and headaches?

You can get more information about migraines and headaches from the National Headache Foundation.

This information is provided courtesy of the Wyoming AgrAbility Project. For more information, visit our website or call toll-free at 866-395-4986.

This information is adapted from the National Headache Foundation. Please consult a licensed physician before beginning any headache treatment regimen. 



  1. Spot on with this write-up. I really think this website earns far more consideration. I’ll be by again to learn way more, thanks for that info.

    • Thank you! Please stop by frequently, as we update the site regularly!

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