This essay was a short paper written about migraines for my biology class.

Essay by fourmillionCollege, UndergraduateA+, February 2003

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What is a Migraine?

A pounding head, waves of nausea, shimmering images, vomiting, and sensitivity to light or sound are just a few symptoms of a migraine. People all over the country suffer from this medical disorder and can be very painful.

A migraine was once believed to originate in the blood vessels, till recent studies have shown that they are caused by the narrowing of blood vessels themselves, causing the warning signs, and then eventually widening to cause the severe headache. Several causes of the disorder are that of sudden exposure to bright light, eating certain foods, lack of sleep, stress, high altitude, stormy weather, and excessive caffeine or alcohol intake. Although many people may say that migraines are not heredity, they are and can affect anyone to everyone, not depending on race, culture, age, or personality. According to "Migraine," twelve to twenty percent of the population of every country suffers from a migraine.

Many people believe that migraines are just that of a really bad headache, but they aren't. A migraine is a medical disorder with far more head pain than that of a simple headache. There are seven main types of migraines, with the two main ones being a migraine with warning signs and a migraine without warning signs. A migraine without warning signs, recently called "common migraine," is a recurring headache that can last anywhere between four and seventy-two hours. This headache has at least two signs of: one-sided pain, pain pulsating with the heartbeat, pain of moderate or severe intensity, or pain made worse by physical movement such as climbing stairs.

Migraines with warning signs, recently called classic migraines, are the second most common form. About 20 percent of sufferers will experience a warning sign before the actual symptoms of the...