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What Is The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine

Migraine Sufferers Usually Have Migraine History

What is the difference between “sinus headaches” and migraine?

Rada Jones, an emergency physician and a migraine sufferer for 27 years, notes that intensity is a factor migraines start light and get worse. However, intensity is not the most important factor.

“The most relevant, however, is a history of migraines,” Dr. Jones told me. “A recurring headache with a similar pattern and other symptoms, frequently familial, which usually starts at a young age and continues through middle age or later. People seldom start having migraines after 30.” Instead, she noted that people will have bad headaches and call them migraines, when that’s not the case.

What Is A Migraine

A migraine is a type of primary headache disorder that can cause severe pain and other symptoms. People with migraine may experience recurring symptoms that doctors call episodes or attacks.

Headaches are only one symptom of migraines, and they can range in severity. Migraine can cause intense, throbbing headaches that last anywhere from a few hours to several days.

A migraine headache usually affects one side of the head, but some people experience pain on both sides.

A migraine episode can occur in four distinct phases, though not everyone experiences every phase.

Premonitory phase

Doctors also call the premonitory phase the preheadache or prodrome phase. It includes nonpainful symptoms that occur hours or days before the headache arrives.

Premonitory phase symptoms can include:

  • unexplainable mood changes
  • sensitivity to light, sound, or smells

Aura phase

Auras refer to sensory disturbances that occur before or during a migraine attack. Auras can affect a persons vision, touch, or speech.

Visual auras can cause the following symptoms in one or both eyes:

  • flashing lights
  • blurred vision
  • blind spots that expand over time

Sensory auras cause numbness or tingling that starts in the arm and radiates to the face.

Motor auras affect a persons ability to communicate and think clearly. Motor auras include:

  • slurred or jumbled speech
  • difficulty understanding what others say
  • difficulty writing words or sentences
  • having trouble thinking clearly

Headache phase

Postdrome phase

Migraine And Cluster Headache Are Often Confused

The best way to figure out which type of head pain a patient experiences is… Listen. To. The. Patient. Anna Williams shares her story of living with migraine disease and cluster headaches and how it was challenging to get someone to understand she has two separate disorders.

Cluster headaches are often lumped in with migraines, and migraines can sometimes be confused with cluster headaches. .

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Where To Seek Help

  • Always see your doctor if you’re worried about migraines or headaches. Seek medical attention immediately if you are experiencing any other sudden or unusual symptoms.
  • If you’re not sure whether you’re having a migraine, try the healthdirect Symptom Checker tool for advice on what to do next.
  • If you’re not sure whether you need to see a doctor or go to hospital, you can call healthdirect for advice on 1800 022 222 .
  • To find a doctor or health service near you, use the healthdirect service finder.
  • Visit the Headache Australia website for information and support. There, you can also join Headache Australia’s national register to stay informed of any new treatments, developments and research into migraine and headache.

Is It An Everyday Headache Or Something More How To Distinguish Migraine Vs Headache

New Treatment Provides New Hope For Migraine Sufferers

Personal Health , Article

We’ve all experienced it: that dull ache behind the eyes, heavy pounding on the sides of the head, and familiar pressure and tightness in front of the face.

Almost everyone gets a headache. It’s the leading cause of pain and one of the most common reasons for missed days at work or school. Nine in 10 adults experience a headache sometime in their life, while nearly two out of three children will have a headache by age 15. Most people know when they have one, but how many know the difference between a migraine vs. headache? What are the different ways to deal with each of them? Let’s investigate.

How Are They Similar?

The two most common types of headaches, tension headaches and migraines, are often confused because they have similar symptoms and can last from a few hours to a couple of days. However, both the nature and intensity of the pain and the resulting impact on daily living may be significantly different between the two. In addition, migraines are three times more common in women than men, while tension headaches affect both sexes about equally.

Differences in Symptoms

Tension Headache and Migraine Causes

Treatment and Prevention

Most people with tension headaches find relief with nonprescription headache medicines or over-the-counter pain relievers. Doctors recommend that patients with chronic headaches keep a diary to track triggers, frequency, and responses to different treatments.

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Key Difference Migraine Vs Headaches

Migraine is a neurological disease characterized by episodic headaches that are usually associated with autonomic and other neurological symptoms. Headache is a general term, and it can be defined as pain in the cranial vault. Headaches can occur due to multiple reasons, and there are different characteristics based on the cause. The key difference;between migraine and headaches is that the migraine can be treated with simple painkillers and sometimes need preventive treatment but headaches require;simple analgesics to more sophisticated treatments such as tumor resection depending on the cause.

How Can You Manage Hormonal Migraines

Keeping a diary over a period of at least three months will help you to identify triggers – when migraines occur, what youd eaten or drunk, whether you were having a period, hot flushes, sleeping badly etc. You can show this to your doctor when looking for help with managing migraines in menopause.

Natural treatments, include:

  • A healthy and regular sleep pattern

  • Bofeedback therapy – helps control muscle tension to reduce the intensity of migraines

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Tension Headache And Migraine Headache Differences

Though migraine headaches and tension headaches each come with head pain, migraine head pain is far worse. Accompanying symptoms in migraine headaches like dizziness and nausea also make them more difficult to endure.

As mentioned before, migraine pain tends to be unilaterally isolated to one spot in the brain while tension headaches are bilateral and are felt in the head in general. Unlike tension headaches, migraines tend to be recurring rather than occurring only every once in a while.

Five Motives It Could Be A Headache

The difference between a migraine and headaches
  • Many headaches are defined as generalized, the whole head, sometimes squeezing at the temples.
  • most of the time humans can still function, while a migraine may be debilitating.
  • There typically arent caution symptoms with regards to complications, that is regularly the case with migraines.
  • there are many styles of headaches, but one of the most commonplace sorts is a tension headache. The signs and symptoms consist of a persistent ache or stress around the top, particularly on the temples or back of your head and neck. there are numerous other kinds of complications even though, so if you have issues, you could see a physician 24/7 the use of LiveHealth way of life factors can cause headaches. This consists of stress, alcohol, loss of sleep, negative posture or adjustments for your food regimen.
  • in case your headache is more extreme, its viable it is able to simply be a migraine.
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    Cluster Headache Vs Migraine Treatment

    The use of over the counter medication for pain relief may be useful for some patients suffering from a mild migraine, but this is often insufficient when dealing with more serious cases. These drugs may not help those suffering from cluster headaches as they tend to be more severe in nature.

    More immediate treatment in severe cases of a migraine often includes the use of a class of medication called triptans. They can also be used in combination with over the counter medications such as ibuprofen for added benefit.

    Cluster headache patients also use triptans, but due to the high level of pain often suffered by those affected, the injection form is often utilized. Cluster headache patients also benefit from using a high-flow oxygen mask for about 10 minutes.

    Prevention is stressed for both forms of headaches, which often includes dietary and lifestyle changes. Also, some form of prescription medication may also be recommended for prevention.

    Why Do We Misdiagnose Migraine As Sinus Headache

    Research studies show common sinus symptoms occur with migraine. In one study, 45% of migraine patients had at least one symptom of either nasal congestion or watery eyes. Migraine is also underdiagnosed and undertreated, meaning that a self-diagnosis of migraine is less likely.

    A study involving almost 3,000 patients was important in evaluating the frequent complaint of sinus headache. In this study, the participants had at least six sinus headaches in the six months prior to entrance into the study. They had neither a migraine diagnosis nor treatment with a migraine-specific medication. What were the results? Eighty-eight percent of the participants had migraine and not sinus headaches.

    Another study, called the American Migraine Study II, showed that many people who were diagnosed with migraine thought they had sinus headache. Significantly, there were almost 30,000 study participantsonly about 50% who were diagnosed with migraine knew they had migraine before the study. The most common misdiagnosis was sinus headache.

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    Are Sinus Headaches And Migraines Related

    People who often have allergies with a runny nose are 10 times more likely to have migraines. Asthma and migraine also share some of the same triggers.

    So, do sinus and breathing problemscause migraines? Probably not, but it seems these conditions could be related somehow. If you want relief, you’ll need the right diagnosis and, if you have more than one condition, to consider treatment for each separately, even when they’re happening at the same time.

    Migraines Are Accompanied By Visual Disturbances

    Headache or Migraine? How You Know the Difference

    One of the key indicators of a migraine is the additional symptoms besides the debilitating pain, like visual disturbances also known as auras.

    “Migraines can come with a variety of other symptoms including aura, vomiting, sensitivity to light and sound, and visual distortions,” said Dr. Khorsandi. Dr. Williams further detailed the auras as “troubles including blurriness, bright/flashing dots, wavy or jagged lines.” I am plagued by auras before the migraine arrives. It’s the disturbance in the force, the calm before the storm, and serves a warning so I can attempt to deal with what’s to come.

    Sally Morgan, a holistic physical therapist and certified craniosacral therapist who also suffered from migraines, reminded me of another side effect of migraines that we don’t think of often bumps and bruises. She said, “Visual acuity lessens during migraine attacks and people report walking into a wall or knocking things over accidentally during a headache.” Been there, done that.

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    Sinus Headaches Are Often Misdiagnosed Migraines

    Dr. Cooper also notes that “most ‘sinus headaches’ that are bad enough to take you to a doctor’s office are actually migraines. They just feel like a sinus headache because of where the pain is and how sick you feel.”

    So don’t self-diagnose or misdiagnose your migraine as a sinus headache. The analysis is best left to a professional.

    Motives It Can Be A Migraine

  • Migraines can give a warning that they may be going to arise. those warnings include black spots or stars in a singles vision or nausea and vomiting. those are not unusual examples of what may additionally occur earlier than a migraine moves.
  • when you have a migraine, it has a tendency to take place on one aspect of your head, regularly above one eye, and its far a sharp, stabbing ache, just like that of an corresponding to an ice choose. Any light or noise can be difficult to address.
  • most migraine sufferers decide on a darkish, quiet room and to lie nevertheless as movement can cause pounding inside the head.
  • you can revel in fatigue due to the fact the intensity of the ache makes it difficult to sleep.
  • light, eating regimen, menstrual cycle, cold, weather, and hypersensitive reactions are a number of the common triggers for migraines.these are just a few of the approaches to decide whether youre experiencing a headache or a migraine. when you have questions or want to discuss with a board-licensed physician, use LiveHealth on line.
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    Migraine More Common Than Cluster Headache

    More people have likely heard of migraine than of cluster headaches because migraine is much more common. The National Headache Foundation reports;that more than 37 million Americans have migraine. According to the Migraine Research Foundation, migraine is the third most prevalent illness in the world.

    Cluster headaches, on the other hand, are rarer, affecting between an estimated 200,000 and one million Americans, according to Eileen Brewer, president of the patient advocacy group Clusterbusters, speaking to the American Migraine Foundation.

    How Do Hormones Affect Migraine In Menopause

    What’s the difference between a headache and a migraine? (Conditions A-Z)

    Migraine usually occurs after a girl starts having her periods – it happens more during her period, often improves during pregnancy and after menopause.

    Theres a strong link between sex hormones and migraine. Menopause can affect migraines in different ways.

    For a woman whose migraines were previously linked to fluctuating hormones in their menstrual cycle, they can become less severe. Or for some, they may be experienced for the first time, as hormones, particularly oestrogen, swing in perimenopause.

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    What Is Sinus Headache

    A true sinus headache, called rhinosinusitis, is rare. The cause is a viral or bacterial sinus infection characterized by thick, discolored nasal discharge. Youll get symptoms like possibly weaker smell or no smell, facial pain or pressure and commonly, fever. Facial pain and headache should resolve within seven days after viral symptoms improve or after successful treatment with antibiotics . If pain continues, then your diagnosis should be reconsidered.

    Summary Of Migraine Vs Tension Headache

    • Migraines and tension headaches both involve pain in the head region, may have similar triggers, and may have similar preventive measures.;
    • The types of migraines include retinal, complicated, common, hemiplegic, and chronic.;
    • The types of tension-type headaches are infrequent episodic type, frequent episodic type, and chronic.;
    • Migraines are generally felt on one side of the head while tension headaches are felt around the head, behind the eyes, neck, and/or shoulders.;
    • Around 12 percent of the American population experience migraines while tension headache is the most common type of headache.;

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    Episodic Vs Chronic Migraines

    Have you ever experienced a migraine headache? Depending on how often you experience symptoms, you may be having episodic migraines or chronic migraines .

    If you go weeks or months between migraine attacks, you may have EM. If you have migraine symptoms on 15 days or more per month, and within at least three months, you may have CM, advises the Mayo Clinic. Most people who experience migraine headaches never develop CM.

    Your doctor may diagnose you with EM if you have:

    • at least five migraine attacks in your lifetime
    • headaches that affect you on less than 15 days each month
    • headaches that typically last less than 24 hours

    Theres no single test for migraines. To diagnose EM, your doctor will ask about your symptoms. Migraine headaches are often unilateral and described as a pulsing or throbbing sensation. The headache is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, light sensitivity, or sound sensitivity.

    Common triggers for EM include stress, menstruation, and weather changes among others. Your doctor will also take steps to rule out other possible causes. For example, you might be experiencing headaches as a side effect of medications or a symptom of an eye disorder or a brain injury.

    Headaches Are Usually Relegated To The Head

    Migraines vs. Tension Headaches

    Dr. Williams acknowledged that basic headaches are noxious, telling me, “A headache is an unpleasant sensation in any region of the head or upper neck. It may appear as a dull ache, a throbbing feeling or a sharp pain, and intensities of the pain vary with whatever is causing it,” he said. “Though most people associate a headache with pain in the brain, the actual pain felt is stemming from the tissues that surround the brain. A headache can be brief lasting less than an hour or linger for several days.”

    But here’s the essential takeaway regular headache pain is localized. There aren’t additional symptoms in other parts of the body, as is the case with migraines.

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    How Do You Know If You’re Having A Migraine Or A Headache

    Blog post | 11 Mar 2019

    Headaches are, unfortunately, a part of life. They can be triggered by many things, from hot dogs and ice cream to swimming goggles. Nine out of 10 people have had a headache.

    While they are are less common, it’s estimated that almost 5 million Australians experience migraines. Due to hormonal factors, migraines are believed to affect more women than men, and migraines typically run in families.

    How To Spot The Difference Between Migraines & Sinus Headaches

    If you have a runny nose, watery eyes and your head hurts, you might assume that you have a sinus headache. But studies show that about 90% of self-diagnosed sinus headaches are actually migraine.

    Theres a belief that sinus headache is a common illness. The marketing of over-the-counter medications designed to treat these symptoms reinforce this belief.. However, sinus headache is not as common as you might think.

    How can you tell if you have migraine or sinus headache and get the treatment you need? Lets start by defining migraine and sinus headache.

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    What Is A Migraine Headache

      A migraine headache is defined as a severe throbbing pain or pulsing sensation, most often on one side of the head, which is usually accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and extreme sensitivity to light and sound. People with migraines often have certain symptoms termed an aura that occur before the migraine, although some people experience auras during and/or after the migraine. Many migraine sufferers find the pain is debilitating and interferes with daily activities. Migraine headaches occur more frequently in women than men.

      Just a note of caution, even if you have experienced migraines and/or other headaches, but suddenly develop the worst headache of your life, you need to be seen by a doctor immediately. This type of headache may indicate a medical emergency other than a recurrent migraine or other headache type.


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