Is it possible to have migraines for the rest of one's life?

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  • Full Question:

    When my daughter was 6 years old she started having ophthalmic migraines, where half of her vision would be gone in both eyes for about an hour. She is now 21 and now is having episodes of aphasia. She is in her third year of college. I will be making an appt for her to see a neurologist when she comes home for the summer. Is it possible to have migraines for the rest of one's life? Do you ever outgrow it? Donna.


    Full Answer:

    Dear Donna;


    Yes, it is possible to have Migraines for the rest of one's life. Migraine is a genetic neurological disease for which, at this time, there is no cure. Some people "outgrow" having Migraine attacks, but other people have them throughout their lives.


    Trigger identification and management is a vital component of managing Migraine disease. One of the best tools for identifying triggers is a good Migraine diary. You can download a free diary workbook from our article Your Migraine and Headache Diary. Some of us have food triggers; some of us don't. It's advisable to determine if your daughter does, and an elimination diet is the best way to do that. For more information and a workbook on this, see Managing Migraine - Migraine Trigger Foods.


    One of the most important things is to get an accurate diagnosis. To simplify matters and make it easier for people to get information and treatment, doctors usually go by the gold standard for diagnosis, the International Headache Society's International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II). Although some people are told they have “ophthalmic” Migraines, there’s no such diagnoses under ICHD-II. Hopefully, your daughter's doctor will be able to give her a "standard" diagnosis. You can read more about this in 


    About Ask the Clinician:

    Dr. Krusz is a recognized expert in the fields of headache and  Migraine treatment and pain treatment. Each week, he and Lead Expert Teri Robert, team up to answer your questions about headaches and  Migraines. You can read more about Dr. Krusz or more about Teri Robert.


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    Last updated March 11, 2013.


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Published On: March 12, 2013