What are the Differences Between Headaches and a Migraine?

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To the untrained eye, a headache and a migraine can feel the exact same and can seem like the same thing. Pain and aches in your head that don’t go away as quickly as you would like, and the pain can even stop you from doing work and having a good day. However, a headache and a migraine are also different, and it is time to get everything straight before you get another one.

What is a Headache? 

A headache causes pain in the head, face, and/or upper neck. However, this can vary in frequency and intensity. You could simply have a more minor headache that is a dull thudding ache, or a sharp pain that is like a knife stabbing into your skull over and over and over again. 

There are two different types of classifications for headaches. A primary headache is independent, and it causes pain in the head, face, or the neck. Tension headaches are a type of primary headache and can feel like a band of pressure is squeezing your head, as are persistent headaches that can affect the same side of the head every single day.

Secondary headaches are caused by another medical condition, such as headaches that are caused by stress or as a reaction to an infection or medication overuse. If you get a headache as a symptom because you are sick, that will be a secondary headache.

What is a Migraine?

A migraine is a primary headache that can cause a lot of pain, and it can be isolated, or you can experience migraine attacks that are recurring. They can range in severity, but they are also very throbbing and can last a very long time.

Migraines can come in four phases, though not every single phase is experienced. The first phase is the premonitory phase where mood changes, neck stiffness, and sensitivity to light or sound can happen. The second phase is the aura phase, which can include slurred speech, brain fog, and difficulty speaking and writing. 

The headache phase is actually the headache, and then the postdrome phase where you might feel exhausted and generally unwell. Again, you might experience all four phases whenever it comes to getting migraines, but you will get the headache!

How are Headaches and Migraines Treated?

Thankfully, despite headaches and migraines being different, they are treated in the exact same way. You can use over the counter pain medication such as aspirin and ibuprofen, or medications that can stop nausea, such as sumatriptan because you can buy sumatriptan online

Additionally, if you know that your headaches and migraines are caused by things like a poor diet or stress, then you can clean up your diet or learn stress management techniques to deal with the headache. If you can diagnose the trigger for your headaches and migraines, then you can better prevent them from happening.

Should I See A Doctor For My Headaches or Migraines?

While headaches and migraines are annoying whenever they come out and start to mess with you, they can be a massive problem. However, they often aren’t something to call a doctor about, are they? Well, if you find that your headaches are causing other problems such as blurred vision, nausea, and vomiting, then you will need to reach out to a doctor.

Additionally, if you find that you are also dealing with frequent and recurring headaches that are stopping you from living a very full and normal life, then that is another reason for you to see a doctor to figure out how to stop these attacks.

How to Recover From a Headache and Migraine

Finally, once you have dealt with the symptoms of a headache or migraine, then you need to see how to handle the after effects of the headache or migraine. For example, you might need to sit in a cold and dark room for a bit, lay down for a while, get a good meal in you, or figure out a way to reduce your stress. 

It can be extremely hard to focus on work or any other task that you need to do if you are struggling with a headache, so don’t be afraid to take a quick break and allow yourself the opportunity to recover. 

Headaches and Migraines might not seem so different and certainly won’t feel very different whenever you are suffering from one, but they are different and it can be interesting to look at how headaches are classified. Thankfully, they can at least be treated in the same way!

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