Headache v/s Migraine
Headache or a migraine what differentiates typical headaches from migraines is the severity of pain. The pain is more intense in migraine than in a common headache.
Headache usually causes pain and pressure on both sides of the head. It can be mild or severe, typically occurs in the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. It can last from a few hours to several weeks. The most common type of headache is tension headache, causes due to anxiety, stress, poor sleep, or muscle pain.
Whereas, migraines are pulsating throbbing pain on one side of the head, so severe that it disturbs your daily life. Signs often include difficulty breathing, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, tingling on one side of the face, arm or leg.
Medication and lifestyle changes can reduce the pain and help prevent them.
What are the symptoms of Migraine?
Migraines can begin in childhood, adolescence, and early adulthood. It can progress through four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome. However, not everyone with migraines hit these stages.
There are some subtle symptoms that can occur before the migraine hits such as constipation, mood swings, food cravings, neck stiffness, increased thirst, urination, and yawning.
Headache v/s Migraine
Aura is usually visual disturbances appearing before or during migraines. These symptoms are gradual, build-ups for a few minutes, and can last up to an hour. When it happens, you can experience:
- Vision loss
- Trouble speaking
- Hearing noises
- Uncontrollable jerking
- Needles or pins sensation in an arm or leg
- Weakness in the face or one side of the body
Migraines can last for 72 hours if left untreated. You might experience throbbing pain on one side of the head or on both sides, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, smell, or even touch.
After the migraine attack, some feel drained while some feel euphoric.
What causes migraine?
The causes of migraine are unknown and not well understood. Doctors argue that changes in the brainstem and its transactions with the trigeminal nerve which is a major pain pathway can be one of the reasons for migraines along with genetics and environmental factors.
Hormonal changes during pregnancy, periods, menopause, or hormonal medications like contraceptives often trigger migraines. Too much alcohol or coffee, stress, loud sounds, strong smells, sleep changes can also lead to episodes of migraine.
Migraines are often undiagnosed and untreated. If you have mentioned symptoms of migraines or have a history of headaches, and you feel a sudden change in their occurrence, consult a doctor immediately.