Headache or Migraine?

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Headache or Migraine?

21 Feb 2018

Oh no…here it comes again! The signature pain, temporary vision loss, light sensitivity, and nausea that signal oncoming migraine headaches can be debilitating for so many people. The first step in preventing and treating this common affliction is to uncover which type of a migraine you are battling. Sometimes migraines or tension headaches are a symptom of some other health condition or disease. In other cases, there is no definitive cause.

The pain or pressure in your head can be so agonizing and overwhelming, you just can’t stand it. Do you understand what type of pain you are feeling or know the exact cause? It can be hard to tell the difference between a tension headache and a migraine. It is very important to recognize what you are experiencing properly.

Getting the right diagnosis can mean faster pain relief through more targeted treatments. Also, knowing the origin of pain can help prevent future migraine headaches from ever starting.

What is a Headache?

Headaches are caused by painful pressure or aching on either or both sides of your head. The Mayo Clinic categorizes the most common head pain as a tension headache. Varying types include sinus and cluster headaches. Pain can range from mild to severe, and affect specific areas including the back of the neck, forehead, and temples. Discomfort can linger for a half hour, a week, or anything in-between. The condition is often caused by anxiety, stress, sleep deprivation, muscle strain or hunger. Tension headaches can be either episodic or chronic. Typical headache symptoms include:

  • Dull, nagging pain in the head
  • Pressure or tightness across the forehead, sides and/or back of the head
  • Tender muscles in the scalp, neck and shoulder

What is a migraine?

A migraine headache will typically manifest as pain on one side of the head, but it can affect both. The most definitive difference is the level of agony. The throbbing pain is so intense it can make performing everyday tasks difficult to impossible. Due to the severity or intensity, additional symptoms accompany a classic migraine, including:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Sharp pain in the back of one eye or ear
  • Pain in the temples
  • Visual aura (seeing flashing lights or spots)
  • Light or sound sensitivity
  • Temporary vision loss

Migranines can also be a sign of a more serious condition. If you are experiencing frequent migraines, contact Preferred Urgent Care for prompt treatment.