Migraines are three times more common in women than in men. Migraines, like tension and sinus headaches, range from moderate to severe pain. They are periodic and are often accompanied with sensitivity to light and sound. The pain tends to be restricted to one side of the head and is described as throbbing or pulsing. Some people experience an aura just before a migraine begins. The aura includes symptoms such as seeing flashing lights or stars, zigzag patterns, or experiencing temporary loss of vision.
Memory problems tend to be associated with normal aging and usually do not interfere with quality of life. Dementia, however, interferes with quality of life. Dementia is a general term that describes problems with memory and mental function. Dementia begins gradually in most cases and worsens over time. It severely disrupts one’s quality of life. Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive disease in which connections between neurons and neurons themselves die, causing neurological problems. It is the most common cause of dementia.
Dizziness is a common condition and is rarely a cause for concern, but at least half of all adults will experience dizziness severe enough to make them see their doctor. Feeling faint, losing balance, and vertigo fall under the umbrella of dizziness. Vertigo is a condition in which you feel as if everything is spinning – similar to what would happen if you spun in a circle and stopped. This is caused by a fluid imbalance in the inner ear, which may develop into a chronic condition.
Fainting is due to a drop in blood pressure and heart rate, resulting in less blood flow to the brain and ultimately, a loss of consciousness. For some, it can be caused by the sight of blood, or severe emotional distress. For others, it can be caused by straining, heat exposure, or standing for too long. Fainting is rarely serious, but bodily harm may occur upon falling. Recurring episodes of fainting may be a sign of a serious heart condition.
Strokes occur when a blood clot obstructs blood flow to the brain, causing brain cells to die. TIAs occur when blood flow is reduced to the brain, retina, or spinal cord. Symptoms include sudden dizziness, trouble speaking, paralysis on one or both sides of your body, and vision problems. A TIA is just like a stroke, but does not cause permanent damage. However, 1 in 3 people will get a stroke if they have a TIA. Strokes and transient ischemic attacks (TIAs) are emergency medical conditions.