Sometimes, we feel a headache, and diagnose ourselves as suffering either from a migraine or a normal headache, without knowing the difference between both of them. So are they really the same, or headaches have different types? It’s time to find out the answer, so we can take the right medication and get rid of the pain, or even prevent it!
What is a headache and what are its types?
A headache is a nagging pain in the head area, which may cause pressure, and its severity ranges from slight to severe. Headache areas include the forehead, the temples, and the back of the neck, and the following are the different types of headaches:
It is the most common type of headache and is caused by fatigue, tension, and muscle tension, and it usually lasts between thirty minutes and seven days.
It is a very severe headache that affects one side of the head, and it comes in the form of attacks, and these attacks are followed by periods of pain-free.
This headache accompanies other symptoms of sinusitis, such as high body temperature, nasal congestion, cough, and others. Often times, it is confused with a migraine.
Chiari malformation headache
This headache is accompanied by the rare congenital malformation known as “Arnold Chiari malformation”, in which the small size of the skull pushes back parts of the brain, causing headaches.
It is a very severe headache, and it is called chlamydia because it comes on suddenly and reaches a climax within 30 seconds. This type of headache is a serious condition that requires immediate medical attention. Its causes include: subarachnoid hemorrhage, rupture of a blood vessel in the brain, a stroke, or any severe injury.
What are the methods of treating a headache?
- Over-the-counter medications, including acetaminophen, aspirin, and ibuprofen.
- Relaxation techniques, as they are effective in reducing stress and head pain, and they reduce the chances of it occurring, and examples of them are: heat therapy (warm compresses and bathing in warm water), massage, meditation, relaxation exercises, and neck stretching.
What is a migraine?
This severe headache is often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, pain in one of the eyes or ears, pain in the temples, or sensitivity to light and sound, and sometimes sufferers experience a temporary loss of vision. Migraine pain ranges from moderate to severe, and in some cases is very severe, leading the individual to head to the emergency room. While it usually affects one side of the head, it may affect both sides at other times, and it is painful to the point of affecting our daily life and activities.
Migraines are divided into two parts, which are migraine with aura, and migraine without aura. So what is this aura? T
The aura is a group of warning signals that begin 10 to 30 minutes before the attack, and include all of the following symptoms: inability to think, a feeling of tingling or numbness in the face or hands, seeing flashing lights or strange lines, and others.
In some cases, symptoms may begin a day or two before the attack and are called the “precursor stage”, and include: constipation, depression, frequent yawning, neck stiffness, and others.
What are the methods of migraine treatment and prevention?
Before discussing methods of treating migraines, you should try to avoid their occurrence as much as possible, by staying away from foods and materials that cause them such as alcohol and caffeine, and by taking effective steps to reduce stress and fatigue. In addition, be sure to take the medications that the doctor prescribes for us, including anti-depressants, lowering blood pressure, antiepileptic drugs, and others.
The following are the main triggers for migraines:
- Emotional stress
- Contraceptive pills
- Alcohol and caffeine
- Hormonal changes
As for individuals who suffer from migraines less frequently, the recognized medications to reduce the pain of this type of headache may be useful to them, including anti-nausea medications, pain-relieving drugs, in addition to anti-inflammatory drugs.
We advise you not to take migraine medications for more than 10 days a month, as it may lead to an effect known as a rebound headache, and thus the situation will worsen rather than become better.
Do I suffer from headache or migraine?
If what you feel is throbbing and intense pain, and only on one side of the head, or on both sides, but it is accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, dizziness, and seeing flashing lights, then what you are experiencing may be a migraine.
But if you feel a slight pressure in your head, and most of the time it is in the forehead or scalp, and without the presence of any other symptoms, then you most likely suffer from a headache.