Migraines occur much less frequently than tension-type headaches, but are still reasonably common, affecting about 1 in 10 people.
9 out of every 10 migraine sufferers have their first attack before the age of forty. Women are particularly susceptible to migraine, possibly due to hormonal influences. Overall, migraines occur about three times more often in women than men.
Some people assume that migraine is just another word for ‘bad headache’, but this is not the case. Migraines have specific characteristics that distinguish them from tension-type headaches. It is possible for a person to experience both migraines and tension-type headaches, making diagnosis more difficult. In these situations, keeping a headache diary for a period of four weeks can be particularly useful.
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- British Association for the Study of Headache. Guidelines for all health professionals in the diagnosis and management of migraine, tension-type-type headache, cluster headache and medication overuse headache. Hull: BASH, 2010. www.bash.org.uk (accessed 13 December 2011)
- Scottish Intercollegiate Guidlines Network. Diagnosis and management of headache in adults. Edinburgh: NHS Quality Improvement Scotland, 2008. www.sign.ac.uk/pdf/sign107.pdf (accessed 19 December 2011)
- International Headache Society. IHS Classification ICHD-II. London: IHS, 2004. ihs-classification.org/en/02_klassifikation (accessed 13 December 2011)
- NHS Choices. Migraine. UK Department of Health, 2012. www.nhs.uk/conditions/Migraine/Pages/Introduction.aspx (accessed 28 May 2012).