Harvard Health Letter

Understanding migraine

6 frequently asked questions about this infamous type of headache.

Although migraines are notorious for causing pain, they've created a lot of confusion, too. We hope the answers to the six questions below will clear up a few misunderstandings and provide some useful information along the way. If you have a question about migraines, please write us, and we'll answer as many as possible on our Web site at www.health.harvard.edu/healthextra.

1. What exactly is a migraine?

Some people use the term migraine to describe any severe headache, but not all severe headaches are migraines nor are all migraines severe, although many do live up to their reputation for excruciating pain.

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