Let's Talk About Migraines

We've got the doctor-approved scoop on causes, symptoms, treatments, and a jillion other tips that make migraine life easier.

    Our Pro PanelMigraines

    We went to some of the nation's top experts in migraines to bring you the most up-to-date information possible.

    Marius Birlea, M.D.

    Marius Birlea, M.D.Assistant Professor of Neurology; Director, Headache Fellowship

    University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine
    Joel R. Saper, M.D.

    Joel R. Saper, M.D.Director

    Michigan Headache & Neurological Institute
    Ann Arbor, MI
    Stewart J. Tepper, M.D.

    Stewart J. Tepper, M.D.Professor of Neurology

    Geisel School of Medicine, Dartmouth
    Lebanon, NH
    Migraine statistics: women vs. men, percentage children with migraines, number of Americans with migraines, genetic risk percentage, number of chronic migraines per month
    Nikki Cagle
    Signs of migraine with aura: impaired vision, numbness, tingles, slurred speech
    Nikki Cagle
    Common treatments for migraine: pain relievers, triptans, targeted meds, botox shots
    Nikki Cagle

    Frequently Asked QuestionsMigraines

    How long do migraines last?

    Typically anywhere between four and 72 hours. Those who have chronic migraines (more than 15 attacks a month) tend to have headaches that last longer (but still within that window).

    What does a migraine feel like?

    Typically, you get a throbbing, pulsating pain on one side of your head, and you feel queasy. You might also be super-sensitive to bright lights or loud sounds. Some people get dizzy, too. One in five patients experiences an aura right before the headache part—either flashing lights, zigzags, or bright colors—or sometimes has trouble speaking or thinking of words. Sometimes the aura takes the form of obscured vision (like tunnel vision).

    How can you get rid of your migraine?

    You can either prevent migraines from happening via drugs or devices that stimulate your brain, or you can take meds to stop an attack once it comes on. These medications range from pain relievers like Advil to newer drugs that target specific brain chemicals thought to be causing the pain.

    What causes migraine headaches?

    Your genes basically. Most people with migraines have a parent who had them and that makes your brain more vulnerable to certain triggers, whether it’s stress or smells or your hormones. When something sets off an attack (say, sleeping in on Saturday or drinking a glass of wine), there's a reaction inside your brain that affects the parts responsible for feeling pain as well as processing light and sound.

    Linda Rodgers

    Linda Rodgers


    Linda Rodgers is a former magazine and digital editor turned writer, focusing on health and wellness.