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Migraine and Headache Terms

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    Nitrite: a food additive that may trigger headaches in some people; nitrites are commonly found in processed meats, such as bacon, pepperoni, hot dogs, ham, sausage, luncheon meats, and deli-style meats and other cured or processed meats. Some heart medications contain nitrates.

    Ophthalmology evaluation: an eye exam performed by an eye doctor (ophthalmologist) which includes a pressure test to rule out glaucoma or pressure on the optic nerve as causes of headaches

    Ophthalmoplegic migraine: pain around the eye, including paralysis in the muscles surrounding the eye; this is an emergency medical condition, as the symptoms can be caused by pressure on the nerves behind the eye. Other symptoms of ophthalmoplegic migraines include a droopy eyelid, dilated pupil, double vision, or other vision changes.

    Otitis: ear infection or inflammation

    Paroxysmal vertigo: dizziness that is marked by sudden, intense symptoms

    Paroxysmal torticollis: sudden contraction of one side of the neck muscles that causes the head to lean to that side

    Pharyngitis: inflammation or infection of the throat

    Phonophobia: sensitivity to sound

    Photophobia: light sensitivity

    Preventive medications: drugs used to treat very frequent tension headaches and migraines, or the combination of both types of headaches to reduce both the frequency and severity of the headaches; preventive medications are prescribed to be taken regularly, usually on a daily basis.

    Primary headaches: headaches that are not the result of another medical condition; these include migraine, tension, and cluster headaches.

    Pseudotumor cerebri: increased pressure within the head (intracranial) caused by buildup of excess fluid around the brain

    Raynaud's phenomena: abnormal sensitivity to cold, which is usually seen in the hands; signs include tingling, discomfort, decreased sensation, or color changes in the hands. This condition may be associated with migraines.

    Rebound headaches: headache that occurs from over-using medications for headache pain; exceeding label instructions or your doctor's advice can cause you to "rebound" into another headache. This is especially dangerous when the drug contains caffeine, an ingredient included in many medications to speed up the reaction of the other ingredients.

    Retinal migraine: temporary, partial, or complete loss of vision in one eye, along with a dull ache behind the eye that may spread to the rest of the head

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