According to Zahid H. Bajwa, MD and R. Joshua Wootton, Ph.D., at Harvard
Medical School, between 12 and 16 percent of people in the United States
experience migraines, making it the second most common type of headache.
Nausea and vomiting, as well as an acute sensitivity to light and sounds
often accompany with migraine headaches. In addition, Migraines tend to
run in families. Therefore, genetic factors do contribute to a person's
susceptibility to migraines.
Aura: The pain of migraine without aura headache usually begins
gradually. The headache is typically dull, deep, and steady when mild
to moderate; it becomes throbbing or pulsatile when severe. In 60 to
70 percent of people, the pain occurs on only one side of the head.
In addition, a migraine headache can last from 4 to 72 hours.
Migraines with Aura: The pain of migraine with aura is similar to
migraines without aura, except for the fact that people who experience
migraines with aura will also experience visual or other neurologic
symptoms prior to the onset of headaches. The aura may include: flashing
lights or bright spots, zig-zag lines, loss of part of the field of
vision, numbness or tingling in the hand, tongue, or side of the face,
or weakness in one of the extremities. Fortunately, aura usually last
around 15 minutes, and no more than 60 minutes.