Here, we’ll look at what you can typically expect from migraines as you get older according to experts.
Can migraines get better with age?
In most cases, migraines do appear to get better as you age. However, this certainly isn’t true for everyone. Some patients continue to experience migraines even into their 80s.
Numerous studies have been carried out to determine the effects of migraines with age. These have revealed that approximately 40% of those who have suffered from migraines, stop having them by the age of 65. Interestingly, it could be linked to menopause. It has been discovered that women who haven’t yet gone through the menopause, are three times as likely as those who have, to experience migraine attacks.
So, the short answer is yes migraines do often improve with age, but this isn’t true for everyone.
Understanding the typical migraine life cycle
The Migraine Research Foundation states that migraines are typically most common from the ages of 25 to 55. The first migraine attack is said to occur in the teens or early twenties. However, it is known that 1 in 10 school aged children also experience the condition.
Migraines almost always begin earlier in life, with it being rare to develop them later on. It is also thought that over time they reduce in intensity, as well as become much less frequent. This could be down to both the menopause in women and a reduction in stress as you get older. However, some studies have also shown that the menopause can exasperate migraines in some women.
The vast majority of patients do find their migraines lessen over time. However, for a small percentage, they can actually go on to develop chronic migraines. This means they’ll experience more than 15 migraines in a month.
Things you can do today to reduce chronic migraines in the future
If you’re concerned you may be one of the few to go on to develop chronic migraines, there are some things you can do to prevent them.
There are a number of factors which can increase your risk of developing more chronic migraines as you age. Stress, obesity and the use of opioids are known to increase migraine frequency and intensity. So, managing stress levels, losing weight and finding more natural pain relief methods could help.
Patients who suffer from severe migraines are also known to go on to develop more intense migraines in later life. This could be linked to the increase in pain medication they take to control the severe side effects.
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