Migraine: How Common is It?

Male patient tells the doctor about his health complaintsMigraine, according to statistics, is the third most prevalent illness around the world. It affects about 39 million people in the country and one billion people in the world. While this condition is most common in adult men and women (between 25 and 55), some children also suffer from migraines. Many sufferers consider this as a chronic condition that can affect their quality of life.

A Disabling Disorder

While some people think that it just a severe or an intense headache, migraine is more than that. This illness, in fact, is incapacitating and is one of the most disabling disorders worldwide (12th in the US). Research suggests that acute migraine attacks account for more than one million hospital visits in the country. It is also common for sufferers to have one to two migraine attacks every month.

More Common in Women

It affects women more than men, as more than 80% those with the condition are women. Their risk for migraine increases during adolescence. Studies suggest that attacks may be due changes in hormone or estrogen levels. In childhood or before puberty, however, boys suffer more often than girls. The only problem is, the illness is usually undiagnosed in kids.

The Need for Research and Trials

With the prevalence of migraine, researchers and scientists are urging people to participate in migraine trial. This is to develop effective treatment and bring light to certain issues about new drugs, therapies, or vaccines. Clinical trials help determine if further treatments or methods are safe and effective. People with the illness as well those who don’t have it may participate for results comparison.

Attacks and Debilitating Symptoms

The sad part about this condition is that it can be extremely debilitating, causing throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. The attacks, furthermore, may last for four to 72 hours and are accompanied by different symptoms such as dizziness, nausea, numbness in face or extremities, visual disturbances (referred to as aura), and other incapacitating symptoms.

Migraine is responsible for millions of lost work days, as well as lost productivity expenses. This makes it essential for sufferers to receive proper diagnosis and treatment. Further research is also necessary to understand migraine better and develop other therapies.