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What’s The Difference Between A Headache And A Migraine

Can Using Birth Control Pills Make My Migraines Worse

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In some women,;;pills improve migraine. The pills may help reduce the number of attacks and their attacks may become less severe. But in other women, the pills may worsen their migraines. In still other women, taking birth control pills has no effect on their migraines.

The reason for these different responses is not well understood. ;For women whose migraines get worse when they take birth control pills, their attacks seem to occur during the last week of the cycle. This is because the last seven pills in most monthly pill packs don’t have hormones; they are there to keep you in the habit of taking your birth control daily. Without the hormones, your body’s estrogen levels drop sharply. This may trigger migraine in some women.

Talk with your doctor if you think birth control pills are making your migraines worse. Switching to a pill pack in which all the pills for the entire month contain hormones and using that for three months in a row can improve headaches. Lifestyle changes, such as getting on a regular sleep pattern and eating healthy foods, can help too.

Can I Make Lifestyle Changes To Avoid Migraine Symptoms

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is an important part of migraine management. Helpful lifestyle habits include a healthy diet of at least three well-rounded meals a day ; staying well-hydrated with at least eight glasses of water a day; minimizing caffeine intake; getting six to eight hours of quality sleep each night; incorporating regular exercise; and managing stress with mindfulness, meditation, yoga or seeing a therapist.

While migraine symptoms arent always in your control, you do have the power to recognize the symptoms, seek help and work with your doctor to create a personalized plan for prevention and treatment. Migraine can be debilitating, but its possible to keep those symptoms from interfering with your day-to-day life.

TheAmerican Migraine Foundation is committed to improving the lives of those living with this debilitating disease. For more of the latest news and information on migraine, visit the AMFResource Library. For help finding a healthcare provider, check out ourFind a Doctor tool. Together, we are as relentless as migraine.

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The Symptoms Of Headaches Vs Migraines

The biggest difference between symptoms of tension-type headaches and migraines is that head pain is only one of many symptoms people experience during a migraine attack, whereas headaches are a little less complicated.

Other key indicators of a migraine are nausea and vomiting as well as sensitivity to light and sound, but sensitivity only begins to describe it, says Seng. People will often experience bright lights or loud sounds as physically painful.

Plus, there are other symptoms of migraines that, although not in the formal diagnostic criteria, are very common in people with migraines. These migraine symptoms can include sensitivity to smell, difficulty thinking or concentrating, trouble speaking, and allodynia, which is when you experience pain from non-painful touch, says Seng. Think: When you have the flu and even brushing your hair hurts.

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You Also Have A Stiff Neck Or High Fever

If you have a headache and a fever, you may think its the flu. But add in the telltale symptom of a stiff neck, and you may have meningitis.

The infection, which can be bacterial or viral, affects the membranes that cover the brain and spinal cord. The swelling of these membranes is what can trigger a headache and stiff neck. You may also have nausea, vomiting or even seizures if you have meningitis. Although meningitis is hard to diagnose because it can mimic other infections, if you have a headache along with these other symptoms, its best to get checked by your doctor.

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The Location Type And Severity Of The Pain

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Tension headaches are typically on both sides of the head, and the pain feels like its pressing or tightening, says Seng. Headache pain is usually classified as moderate in severity, she adds.

However, during a migraine attack, the head pain is typically on one side of the head and is pounding or pulsing, says Seng. Migraine pain is usually classified as moderate to severe and gets worse with even little physical activity, such as simply climbing up the stairs.

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Migraines Come With Heightened Sensitivities

Now that we’ve gone over the basics of regular headaches, let’s go over what migraines are and what sets them apart.

“A migraine is clinically defined as a specific type of headache that is felt more intensely, and usually has accompanying symptoms in addition to the pain felt in the head,” Dr. Williams explained. He lists common migraine symptoms as “pounding or throbbing pain that is moderate to severe and feels as if it is engulfing the entire head or shifting from one side of the head to the other,” as well as heightened sensitivities to sound, odors, or light.

That’s why migraines often have me lying in a dark, quiet room it’s an effort to quell my super acute senses.

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

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Migraines Or Cluster Headaches 3 Ways To Tell The Difference

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Its possible to have multiple headache disorders, and doctors often misdiagnose even those with just one form of head pain. Cluster headaches were once thought to be a man’s disease with a 9 to 1 ratio of men to women with the condition. We know now that’s this statistic was utterly wrong. Many women were misdiagnosed with migraine disease because of it. Today, the ratio is closer to 2 or 3 to 1, but not all medical professionals got the memo.

I’ve experienced this firsthand with the ER doctors who told me I had migraine attacks, despite having an episodic cluster headache diagnosis. Even the nurses at my neurologist’s office refused to accept that I had cluster headaches until my doctor confirmed it. Children have an even harder time getting people to listen to their headaches.

Why Do We Misdiagnose Migraine As Sinus Headache

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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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Headache And Migraine Signs You Need To Be Aware Of

Headaches and migraines plague more than 38 million people, with some studies suggesting that 13 percent of adults in the U.S. have periodic migraines and two to three million people suffer from chronic migraines. June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, a good a time as any to discuss the signs you should be aware of, particularly if you have a loved one in hospice. Thats because many chronic and terminal illnesses and diseases are punctuated by severe headaches and migraines. Even the medication San Francisco hospice patients are put on can contribute to them. This year for 2018s Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, the theme is You Are Not Alone. Indeed. The more we know about these debilitating conditions, the stronger we can be.

What Are Rebound Migraines

Women who use acute pain-relief medicine more than two or three times a week or more than 10 days out of the month can set off a cycle called rebound. As each dose of medicine wears off, the pain comes back, leading the patient to take even more. This overuse causes your medicine to stop helping your pain and actually start causing headaches. Rebound headaches can occur with both over-the-counter and prescription pain-relief medicines. They can also occur whether you take them for headache or for another type of pain. Talk to your doctor if you’re caught in a rebound cycle.

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Is It A Migraine Attack Or A Cluster Headache

Migraine and cluster headaches have different symptoms and require different treatments.

Whether youre having a migraine attack or a cluster headache, the pain it causes can be debilitating.

But because the treatments for the two diseases are very different, its crucial to figure out which you have or whether you have something else entirely to have the best chance at easing your pain.

Without the correct diagnosis, its difficult to find relief for your headache, says Merle L. Diamond, MD, associate director of the Diamond Headache Clinic in Chicago.

Heres what you need to know about the symptoms, causes, and treatment options for these two different types of headaches.

Pacing From The Pain Or Laying Down

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“Cluster headache patients tend to move around quite a bit during the headache. Migraine patients, moving around makes it much worse, so they try to stay still usually,” said Dr. Burish.

During a cluster headache attack, I prefer to rock back and forth and tend to moan or scream when the pain is peaking. That is uniform across the cluster headache patients I’ve met over the years. Laying down is like torture during an attack because the searing pain makes you move. Bob Wold, Founder of Clusterbusters, likened it to slamming your finger in a car door: You have to shake your hand to cope with the pain. It’s similar with cluster headaches.

Migraine attacks typically have you in a dark, quiet room because sound and light make it worse. I’ve had status migraines in the past, and they drained me for five days and had me wanting to stay in bed.

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When Should I Seek Immediate Help Or Contact My Healthcare Provider

  • You are experiencing the worst headache of my life.
  • You are having neurologic symptoms that youve never had before, including speaking difficulty, balance problems, vision problems, mental confusion, seizures or numbing/tingling sensations.
  • Your headache comes on suddenly.
  • You have a headache after experiencing a head injury.

Schedule a visit with your healthcare provider if:

  • The number or severity of your headaches increase or your headache pattern changes.
  • Your medications no longer seem to be working or youre experiencing new or different side effects.

What Are The Symptoms Of Migraines

The primary symptom of migraine is a headache. Pain is sometimes described as pounding or throbbing. It can begin as a dull ache that develops into pulsing pain that is mild, moderate or severe. If left untreated, your headache pain will become moderate to severe. Pain can shift from one side of your head to the other, or it can affect the front of your head, the back of your head or feel like its affecting your whole head. Some people feel pain around their eye or temple, and sometimes in their face, sinuses, jaw or neck.

Other symptoms of migraine headaches include:

  • Sensitivity to light, noise and odors.
  • Nausea and vomiting, upset stomach and abdominal pain.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Feeling very warm or cold .
  • Pale skin color .
  • Euphoric mood.

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Main Difference Headache Vs Migraine

Headache is a very common yet unpleasant condition we experience in our day to day lives. The severity of it might not be big enough to keep us away from our daily lifestyle, but some headaches can be really torturing and make us glued to the bed, doing nothing at all. However, most of us tend to confuse headaches with migraines. The main difference between headache and migraine is that migraines typically affect only one side of the head whereas headaches may affect both sides of the head, temples, and back of the neck.;

This article explains,;

;;;; 1. What is a Headache;;;;;;;;; Features, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment

;;;; 2. What is a Migraine;;;;;;;;; Features, Signs and Symptoms, Causes, Types, Treatment

;;;; 3. What is the difference between Headache and Migraine;

How Can You Manage Hormonal Migraines

Things you should know about migraines… [CC]

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:

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

Personal Health , Article

Weve 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. Its 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? Lets 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.

When To Get Medical Advice

You should see a GP if you have frequent or severe migraine symptoms.

Simple painkillers, such as paracetamol or ibuprofen, can be effective for migraine.

Try not to use the maximum dosage of painkillers on a regular or frequent basis as this could make it harder to treat headaches over time.

You should also make an appointment to see a GP if you have frequent migraines , even if they can be controlled with medicines, as you may benefit from preventative treatment.

You should call 999 for an ambulance immediately if you or someone you’re with experiences:

  • paralysis or weakness in 1 or both arms or 1 side of the face
  • slurred or garbled speech
  • a sudden agonising headache resulting in a severe pain unlike anything experienced before
  • headache along with a high temperature , stiff neck, mental confusion, seizures, double vision and a rash

These symptoms may be a sign of a more serious condition, such as a stroke or meningitis, and should be assessed by a doctor as soon as possible.

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Whats A Migraine Journal

  • Keeping a migraine journal is not only beneficial to you, but it helps your healthcare provider with the diagnosis process. Your journal should be detailed and updated as much as possible before, during and after a migraine attack. Consider keeping track of the following:
  • The date and time of when the migraine began specifically when the prodrome started, if youre able to tell its happening. Track time passing. When did the aura phase begin? The headache? The postdrome? Do your best to tell what stage youre in and how long it lasts. If theres a pattern, that may help you anticipate what will happen in the future.
  • What are your symptoms? Be specific.
  • Note how many hours of sleep you got the night before it happened and your stress level. Whats causing your stress?
  • Note the weather.
  • Log your food and water intake. Did you eat something that triggered the migraine? Did you miss a meal?
  • Describe the type of pain and rate it on a one to 10 scale with 10 being the worst pain youve ever experienced.
  • Where is the pain located? One side of your head? Your jaw? Your eye?
  • List all of the medications you took. This includes any daily prescriptions, any supplements and any pain medication you took.
  • How did you try to treat your migraine, and did it work? What medicine did you take, at what dosage, at what time?
  • Consider other triggers. Maybe you played basketball in the sunlight? Maybe you watched a movie that had flashing lights? If youre a woman, are you on your period?


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