Migraines affect about 36 million people in the United States and can be painful and debilitating. The Migraine Institute at the Dallas Pain Relief Center works with Dallas and Fort Worth area patients to find a solution to manage migraine pain. The phases and symptoms of migraines differ among patients.

• Migraine pain generally involves intense throbbing on one or both sides of the head, becoming so severe that some patients have to go to the emergency room.

• Symptoms include nausea, vomiting, dizziness and sensitivity to environmental stimuli, like light or sound.

• Chronic migraine pain can cause depression, anxiety and sleep disturbances.

• Migraine length can range from four hours to 72 hours and can be triggered by numerous factors, including alcohol, menstruation and fragrances.

• A sufferer may experience fatigue, neck pain, light sensitivity and other symptoms in the first phase of a migraine.

• The first migraine phase is followed by aura in one-third of sufferers, causing them to see flashing lines, squiggly lines or geometric patterns, or feel numbness and tingling in the face or hands.

• Patients experience moderate or severely intense head pain during the main phase, followed by fatigue, mood changes and concentration difficulty during the post-migraine phase.

The majority of migraine sufferers do not seek medical help for their pain, while almost half of people with migraines are never diagnosed with the condition. Sufferers should not let stigma or low expectations hinder them from reaching out. Those with chronic pain may feel lonely or misunderstood; however, The Pain Relief Center helps many Dallas-Fort Worth-area patients with migraines, allowing them to return to activities they once loved, to enjoy time with family and friends and to realize they are not alone in their suffering.

• Eighteen percent of American women and six percent of American men suffer from migraines, most during the peak age range of 25 years old to 55 years old.
• The number of people with migraines outweighs the number of asthma and diabetes patients combined, and 90 percent of sufferers experience migraines that interfere with school, work or social activities.
• People with migraines accumulate high healthcare costs, using twice the amount of prescription medicine and visiting the doctor’s office and emergency room twice as frequently as people who do not have migraines.
• Migraines cost United States employers 113 million lost workdays from sufferers missing work due to their condition.
• The National Institutes of Health spent $19 million, or .03 percent, of its budget on migraine research in 2013; given the amount of migraine sufferers relative to other conditions, about $260 million would be a more appropriate amount to allot for migraine research.

Some with migraines may know the exact triggers of their pain. Others may experience migraines during their normal routines when no apparent triggers were present. There are certain triggers and health problems sufferers may not consider.

• Overusing migraine medication could worsen migraines rather than ease them, and factors like wind and a sudden decrease in stress may serve as triggers.
• Electromagnetic waves from lightning could also trigger migraines.
• People with migraines stand at a higher risk for suicide, along with a stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

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