Millions of people suffer from migraines, and research has been trying to understand what causes them. A current theory involves branches of the trigeminal nerve. Now the FDA has cleared an over-the-counter device to prevent or treat migraine by stimulating this nerve with mild electrical shocks.
Headaches have many possible causes, and proper management requires accurate diagnosis. Someone with increasingly severe headaches would want to have a brain imaging test to determine the underlying causes, but such tests are more effective in certain situations than others.
There are several common triggers for headaches. Identifying the one that is causing your headache is the first step toward avoiding it or ensuring you can treat it properly.
A sense of dizziness or spinning associated with migraine headache is called vestibular migraine. A small study found that a type of nerve stimulation treatment improved symptoms of vestibular migraine in study participants.
The first of a new class of medications for the treatment of migraine has been approved by the FDA. Lasmiditan works differently than existing medications, and does not cause blood vessels to narrow (a side effect that makes them unsuitable for those with vascular conditions).
People who get frequent headaches and need to take medication at least 15 days a month may be at risk for medication overuse headaches, or “rebound headaches.” Treatment depends on the medication being taken.
Most children have an occasional headache, but some children get recurrent headaches. These often run in families and may be migraine or tension headaches or might stem from other causes.
Sometimes not having coffee can cause a headache, but caffeine is also a trigger for migraine headaches. A small study examining caffeine consumption and migraines found that people who tended to consume more caffeinated beverages were more likely to have a migraine.
People who experience chronic migraine headaches may benefit from treatment with botulimun neurotoxin (Botox), though other treatments such as medication are usually tried first.
A thunderclap headache is a sudden, extremely severe headache associated with several possible causes. It’s considered a medical emergency and should be treated as soon as possible.