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What's the Difference between Migraine and Headaches?
What's the Difference between Migraine and Headaches?
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By Dr. Naseeba - MBBS

What's the Difference between Migraine and Headaches?

A Comprehensive Guide to Migraines vs. Headaches in General Medicine

What exactly is a migraine?

Most people associate migraine with a severe headache. Migraine headaches are typically throbbing, unilateral in distribution, excruciating, and long-lasting, but they are not the only symptom of migraines. Migraine symptoms, in addition to severe headaches, are as follows:

  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Increased sensitivity to light, sound, or smell
  • Dizziness
  • Extreme exhaustion.
  • Aura/visual disturbance

A migraine can occur in four stages, but not everyone experiences all of them. The steps are as follows:

  • The prodrome phase, also known as the "pre-headache" phase, is characterised by non-painful symptoms that occur hours or days before the migraine headache begins. Mood swings, a strong desire for food, and a stiff neck are a few examples.
  • Aura Phase: Auras are mood changes that can occur before or during a migraine. Auras can impair a person's vision, touch, or speaking ability, but they do not affect everyone who suffers from migraines. Blurred vision, blind spots that grow larger over time, arm numbness, and slurred or jumbled speech are all symptoms of aura.
  • Headache Phase: This is usually when the pain begins, and it can range from mild to crippling. Moving around and being exposed to light, sound, and smell can aggravate pain. If left untreated, it can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours. Some people, however, can suffer from migraine without experiencing a headache.
  • Postdrome phase: The pain has subsided, so this is the final stage. People may feel tired, confused, or sick during this stage.

Migraine causes include:

The precise cause of migraine remains unknown, despite numerous hypotheses. However, certain facts about its origin are known.

  • Women are three times more likely than men to suffer from migraines due to differences in gender and hormones. According to Brockman, migraines can be caused by women's periods and hormonal changes.
  • Allergies, also known as allergic rhinitis, cause the body to become irritated and inflamed. Some people get migraines when their blood vessels become inflamed, which can occur as a result of allergies.
  • Family history and genetics: If someone in your family suffers from migraines, you are more likely to suffer from them as well. Scientists have discovered a genetic change in most people who suffer from the most common type of migraine.
  • Weather changes, stress, food, smells, and a lack of sleep are all examples of environmental triggers.

Other types of regular headaches: With tumour, infection, stroke, and trauma headaches excluded, here are some of the most common types of regular headaches.

  • Tension headaches: Tension headaches typically begin in the back of the head and progress forward. This is the most common headache pain, and it usually goes away on its own with rest or simple analgesics. Tension headaches are typically caused by eye strain, stress, or hunger and can last for an extended period.
  • Sinus headaches commonly occur when you are sick or have a stuffy nose. They are caused by sinus passage swelling, which causes pain behind the cheeks, nose, and eyes. The pain is often at its worst when you wake up and bend forward.
  • Cluster headaches are usually excruciatingly painful and occur every day (usually at the same time) for months. They occur when serotonin and histamines escape from the brain's blood vessels, causing them to dilate. They can be caused by physical activity, high altitude, or bright lights.

How to Treat Migraines and Headaches

Although there is no single cure for migraines, medication and lifestyle changes can help treat your symptoms and prevent them from recurring. Medicine can be purchased anywhere. For those who suffer from infrequent and mild to moderate migraine attacks, simple analgesics such as paracetamol or naproxen are sufficient. Prescription medication,If you suffer from frequent moderate to severe migraines that interfere with your daily activities, over-the-counter medications may not be enough to relieve your symptoms. To reduce the severity, intensity, and frequency of migraines, prophylactic medication is required. Among these medications are:

  • Beta-blockers are medications used to treat high blood pressure.
  • Antidepressants
  • Seizure medications
  • Botox is a botulinum toxin A injection. CGRP antagonists

Lifestyle modifications

Some headaches and migraines can be avoided by altering your lifestyle. These are the items:

  • Regular physical activity
  • You're changing your diet to avoid eating foods that make you sick.
  • Improving Sleep Habits for Better Sleep
  • Using relaxation techniques such as yoga and meditation
  • Keeping migraine triggers at bay.

Keeping a migraine or headache diary can help you spot patterns and determine what triggers them. Take note of the date and time your headache or migraine began, where you were, what you were doing before the pain began, and how long it lasted. This information can assist you and your doctor in developing a plan to avoid your triggers and reduce the frequency with which you experience headaches or migraines.

Best Medical Center in Abu Dhabi People should also see a general medicine doctor if they experience any of the following symptoms as a result of their headaches:

  • It makes it difficult for them to work or enjoy life.
  • Any change in headache pattern
  • A severe headache with a sudden onset ( within a minute)
  • The headache is getting worse by the day.
  • Headache associated with fever, mental state change, or any visual blurring
  • New onset headache, particularly in old age Connect with the best general medicine doctor in Abu Dhabi at Adam & Eve Specialized Medical Center, give a call or send your inquiry to schedule your appointment.