Headaches are extremely common. According to the WHO, about half of adults will have a headache this year. When we experience a headache, we get confused whether it is a migraine or just a headache. It is important to understand what is happening with you so that you know the cause of the health issue. We should not ignore both because they may be signs of an underlying health disorder or disease.
Like headaches, migraines are also quite common and they are one of the top 10 causes of disability worldwide. They are not life-threatening, but they can affect your well-being. According to the Migraine Trust, migraine is most common among those in the age group of 30 to 40 years. According to the Office on Women’s Health, about 75 percent of migraine sufferers are women. Are you confused between the two? Then read on to learn more about these two health issues.
Types of headaches
Cluster Headache- You experience headache attacks and headache-free period cycles.
Sinus Headache- This is when you have sinus symptoms.
Chiari headache- This type of headache is caused by a birth defect known as chiari malformation.
Thunderclap headache- In this, a severe headache develops in 60 seconds or less.
How to treat headaches
Apart from over-the-counter medications, one can do relaxation techniques such as heat therapy, massage, meditation, neck stretching and relaxation exercises.
Talking about migraine, when we experience it you will experience severe pain and other symptoms as well as nausea, pain behind one eye or ear, spotting, sensitivity to light and / or sound, among others. You will feel temporary vision loss. Some people experience such severe migraines that they are admitted to the emergency room. And most of the time, you will feel pain on one side of the head. So, if you are experiencing intense pain, throbbing pain and unable to perform daily tasks, it can be a migraine.
Auras and prodrome
Migraine headaches are two categories: migraine with aura and migraine without aura. Aura means that a person experiences sensations before having a migraine. You can feel them 10 to 30 minutes before the migraine attack. Auras can be: not really alert, flashing lights and lines, numbness in face or hands, unusual sense of smell, taste or touch.
Some people suffering from migraines may experience symptoms a day or two before the actual migraine occurs and this phase is known as the prodrome phase. During the phase, you may experience constipation, depression, frequent yawning, irritability, stiffness in the neck and abnormal eating before migraine.
Causes and treatment of migraine
Migraines are triggers and causes, emotional anxiety, contraceptives, alcohol, hormonal changes, menopause, poor sleeping habits are triggers for migraine, stress, certain stimuli and medications.
How to treat migraine? Medications are a common method to treat this. However, the best way to treat them is to avoid destroying foods that cause headaches, such as alcohol and caffeine, taking prescription medications and stress management among others.
Understand the sensations whether it is severe or mild. If the sensations are in the scalp or forehead then it can be a headache, if it is on one side it can be a migraine. Nausea, flashing lights, dizziness, and blind spots and other auras and prodromes can help you determine if you have a migraine. It can be misleading to distinguish migraine from other types of headaches. But pay attention to auras, prodromes and other signs.