What Is Migraine?

Migraine is a common condition that has to do with the brain. It usually (though not always) involves a throbbing headache, sometimes on one side. The pain gets worse when you move.

Many people with migraines will have visual symptoms before having the pain. This is called a classic migraine. You may see zigzag lines, shimmering or colored lights, or flashes of light in one side of your vision. These symptoms can last up to 30 minutes.

You can also have these visual symptoms without the head pain. This is called a migraine variant.

With migraine headaches, you may be sensitive to light, sound and smells. You may also be nauseous (sick to your stomach) or vomit (throwing up).

Who Is at Risk for Migraine?

Migraine headaches affect about 2 out of 10 people. They happen more often to women than men. Migraines can run in families, and can affect both adults and young children. People who have migraines often have a history of motion sickness.