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5 Weird Migraine Facts That’ll Shock You

Anyone who has suffered from headaches and migraines (and who has spent a lot of time on Google) knows that the internet is full of poorly-researched myths.

Headaches and migraines can be related to dental imbalances, stress, diet, or genetics. Whatever the cause, they are a real pain. How many of the following migraine facts did you know? Read on to find out what else you didn’t know about all that throbbing and pounding.

1. 50% OF PEOPLE WITH MIGRAINES DON’T REALIZE THEY HAVE THEM.

Current stats show that more than 29.5 million Americans suffer from migraines, with three times as many women affected as men. This type of headache causes throbbing pain on one side of your head as well as nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light— but you don’t have to experience all of these symptoms for the headache to be a migraine. Many people mistakenly assume they’re having tension headaches. If the pain is bad enough to make you skip work or other activities, definitely talk to a pain management professional.

2. THERE’S NO SUCH THING AS A “SINUS HEADACHE.”

Research shows that over 90% of people who think they have sinus headaches (not sinus infections) have migraines; the others are probably experiencing tension headaches. Migraine pain is often located over the sinuses, which is why people frequently mistake it for sinus pain. If you get better with so-called “sinus” medications, it’s because these contain a pain reliever. For long-term relief, you’ll need specific migraine treatment.

3. WHAT YOU EAT COULD BE TO BLAME.

Many foods contain chemicals that can trigger migraines and possibly other types of headaches. Some foods to watch out for:

  • deli meats and hot dogs (which have nitrates),
  • Chinese food (which may contain monosodium glutamate, a.k.a. MSG)
  • sugar-free foods sweetened with aspartame or sucralose.

If you’re headache-prone, also avoid tyramine, a natural compound in foods such as citrus fruits, bananas, avocados, processed meats, aged cheeses, onions and nuts. Keep in mind that triggers are individual; track what you eat in a journal to sort it out.

4. SMOKERS ARE AT HIGHER RISK FOR A RARE BUT SCARY TYPE OF HEADACHE.

Only 1 in 1,000 people get cluster headaches, but they happen to smokers more often. Symptoms include intense pain on one side of the head and feeling agitated or angry (sufferers may even harm themselves or others). Think you’re having a cluster headache? Go to the ER immediately—you’ll probably need an oxygen mask or an injection of Imitrex.

5. SOME HEADACHES WARRANT A VISIT TO THE ER.

If you experience any of these symptoms, a hospital visit may be in order:

  • It’s severe and comes on extremely suddenly (experts call this a “thunderclap”)
  • It crops up immediately after exerting yourself (like after lifting a heavy piece of furniture)
  • It’s so bad that it wakes you up from sleep.

Any of these could indicate a life-threatening condition like an aneurysm (a ballooning blood vessel in the brain), so best get immediate attention.

Effective Headache and Migraine Treatment in Southern California

Contact Us Today for a FREE CONSULTATION at Pasadena Pain Management. We can evaluate your headaches, migraines, TMJ pain, head and neck pain and tell you whether our TruDenta care program is right for you.

Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.