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    Quiz: Migraine Myths and Facts

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    If you don't see flashing lights, or an "aura," it isn’t a migraine.

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    If you don't see flashing lights, or an "aura," it isn’t a migraine.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    "Aura" is a broad term for how a migraine affects your senses before or during a headache. Not everybody has one. Those who do might see flashing lights, spots, or wavy or jagged lines. Auras can also make your ears ring, change the way things taste, smell, or feel, or just give you an overall funny feeling. They can last from 15 minutes to an hour.

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    You feel a migraine on only one side of your head. 

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    You feel a migraine on only one side of your head. 

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Unlike most other headaches, migraines usually strike on one side of your head. But they don’t always stay still. The pain can move from one side of the head to another. Most people describe the pain as throbbing or pounding.

    Migraines can start any time of day, or they can wake you up in the middle of the night. They can last 4 hours or longer. A really bad migraine can last as long as a week.

    Which food is a common migraine trigger? 

    Which food is a common migraine trigger? 

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Some foods that have a natural chemical called tyramine may trigger a migraine. Watch out for aged cheese, processed meats, and fermented foods like soy sauce and sauerkraut. There’s no “migraine diet,” but after a while you’ll know if certain foods trigger headaches for you. It might help to avoid things with caffeine, chocolate, MSG, artificial sweeteners, alcohol, and meat with nitrites.

    Women are more likely to get migraines.

    Women are more likely to get migraines.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    About 3 of every 4 people who get migraines are women. In fact, the only time migraines are more common in guys is when they're young -- before puberty hits.

    How long does it typically take migraine pain to build up?

    How long does it typically take migraine pain to build up?

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    • Correct Answer:

    Migraine pain typically starts out as a dull ache. It can take an hour or 2 to build into a full-blown headache. Some people can feel an oncoming migraine a day or 2 before it starts.

    Other warning symptoms include sensitivity to light, sound, and smells, as well as mood changes. Because most migraine medicines work best when taken early, it's a good idea to take medicine as soon as you feel a headache coming on.

    Daily medication can help prevent migraines.

    Daily medication can help prevent migraines.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Your doctor might prescribe daily preventive medicine if:

    • You get two or more migraines a month.
    • Your attacks last more than 24 hours.
    • Your headaches disrupt your lifestyle for days at a time.
    • You usually use migraine treatment medicine more than twice a week.
    • The medicine you use to treat migraine attacks doesn't work.

    There are different kinds of daily preventive medicines, so ask your doctor about your options. Many of these drugs also treat high blood pressure, seizures, and depression. 

    The last phase of a headache is known as the migraine:

    The last phase of a headache is known as the migraine:

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    • Correct Answer:

    After a migraine, you may feel drained, like you're in a fog, or fatigued. You might be nauseated and have muscle tension.

    This is the final phase of the migraine, called the "migraine hangover" or postdrome. It can last a day or 2 past the original headache.

    Which is a common migraine trigger?

    Which is a common migraine trigger?

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Everyone has different migraine triggers. Some common ones are:

    • Strong smells, like perfumes and detergents
    • Hormonal changes (menstruation, pregnancy, and ovulation)
    • Bright or fluorescent lights
    • Stress or fatigue
    • Too much or too little sleep
    • Some medications, like birth control pills
    • Weather changes
    • Cold triggers like ice cream
    • Certain foods

     

    You’ll have fewer migraines as you get older, and they won't hurt as much.

    You’ll have fewer migraines as you get older, and they won't hurt as much.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    For most people, migraines peak between 35 and 40, then taper off and weaken after that. This may not be the case if you’re a woman going through perimenopause. If hormones are a trigger, you could have more headaches during this time.

    Your migraine medication will help a tension headache, too.

    Your migraine medication will help a tension headache, too.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Sometimes, over-the-counter medicines that ease tension headaches can help migraines. But migraine drugs don’t usually relieve other kinds of headaches.

    If a family member has migraines, you’re more likely to get them.

    If a family member has migraines, you’re more likely to get them.

    • Your Answer:
    • Correct Answer:

    Got migraines? There's a good chance you can blame your family. About 4 out of 5 people with migraines have a relative who gets them, too. If one of your parents has them, you have a 50% chance of getting them. If both parents have them, you have a 75% chance.

    Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
    Your Score:     You correctly answered   out of   questions.
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    Awesome job. You certainly know the painful truth about migraine headaches.

    Good work, but you could do better. Read up on migraines and try the quiz again.

    Not so good. Maybe your head hurts too much to answer these migraine quiz questions!