Migraine headaches sent over 3 million Americans to the hospital emergency rooms.
Migraine symptoms accounted for 1/3 of visits to the emergency room in 2008,according to information recently released by News and Numbers from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality.
What are the most common signs of migraines?
Millions of people suffer from migraine headaches, but some of the symptoms can vary according to the severity of the condition. Migraines are caused by constricted blood vessels, and are generally hereditary, although stress and certain food triggers can aggravate chronic headaches. Symptoms of chronic headaches include:
- Throbbing pain on either side of the head
- Increased sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises and strong scents
- Stomach cramps
- Aura (flashing lights)
- Blind spots
- For more information on migraine headaches, read 7 Headache Categories:Which Type of Headache do you Have?
The AHRQ also reported the following alarming statistics on emergency migraine hospital treatments:
- The data collected from this HCUP report estimated that 81,000 migraine sufferers seeking headache relief were admitted into hospital emergency rooms that year.
- Approximately 2/3 of all hospital stays in 2008 were for treatment of migraines.
- Of all emergency hospital visits and admissions for headaches and migraines, 3/4 of the patients seeking migraines relief were women.
- Women were found to be 4 times more likely to suffer symptoms of migraines than men.
- Migraine headache sufferers from low-income areas were more than twice as likely to seek treatment for migraine headaches in hospital emergency rooms than individuals from more affluent neighborhoods.
- Individuals from rural communities were significantly more likely to ask their ER doctor for migraine headache medicine than urbanites.
- Headache sufferers between the ages of 18-44 were the likeliest to go to their local emergency room to find relief for their migraine headaches.
- Individuals from the Midwestern and Southern states accounted for most of the migraine headache hospital admissions and emergency visits that year.