Headaches and Migraines, any difference?

Headaches and Migraines, any difference?

The human body is a complex system controlled by many physiological, chemical, and biochemical reactions. The body must be kept in a stable physiological state as failure to do so may result in complications, malfunctions, illness, and breakdown of the body system.

Headache is discomfort or an unpleasant pain in your head, forehead temples, and neck, and can cause serious pressure and aching. It could be mild or it could be severe. If mild, it could last for a minimum of 30 minutes-1hour, but if severe, it could last for a day, a week or even more.

There are certain things that could trigger a headache; it could be stress, worries, anxiety, depression, strain on the muscle, illness, and all others.

A migraine is a very intense or severe form of headache, which could be described as head pain. It is extremely painful producing debilitating symptoms like nausea, intense pain in the eye, and vomiting, temporary loss of vision. Headache is also a symptom of a migraine. For some persons, a migraine affects only one side of the head, but for others, it affects both sides of the head.

People that suffer from a migraine can experience recurring symptoms in form of episodes or attacks. There are some things that could trigger a migraine and these are; emotional anxiety, alcohol, hormonal imbalance, and menopause.  

Though most persons often fail to distinguish between a headache and a migraine, a migraine feels like a headache but in a much more painful way. There are differences that could help to understand what a migraine is and what a headache is. The difference is related to the feeling involved, areas affected, and the symptoms. 

Difference between a migraine and a headache

  • A headache could be mild, or severe lasting through minutes, days or weeks but a migraine is always very intense, it could come in phases, in form of episodes and lasts days or weeks
  • Symptoms of a headache are pain in the fore head, head, and neck region. But, symptoms of migraine could be a headache, eye pain, temporal blindness, nausea, and vomiting.
  • Headache is triggered by mild disorders such as stress, strain, and depression. But, a migraine could be triggered by menopause, emotional anxiety and breakdown, excessive consumption of alcohol, and hormonal imbalance.

These are some of the noticeable differences between headaches and migraines. 

There are different types of headaches, with their individual symptoms. This could either be primary or secondary. Primary headaches are;

  • Tension-type headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Hemicranias
  • Tension-type headache; these are the most common types of headaches. They affect about 50% of persons. It has been classified as an episodic or chronic type of headache. The tension-type of headache occurs often and causes soreness or throbbing all over the scalp. Symptoms of tension-type headache are
  • Hunger
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of sleep
  • Arthritis
  • Stress
  • Poor body posture
  • Cluster headache; is a headache characterized by severe pain on a particular side of the head. It is called cluster headache because it could come in clusters, that is, multiple headaches occurring for the same time every day or for weeks. It is also characterized by recurring headaches for a certain period of time followed by a period where there is no headache at all. Further discoveries have shown that cluster headache affects males than females. Symptoms of cluster  headache are;
  • Intense pain on one side of the head
  • Sweating
  • Restlessness or agitation
  • Hemicranias; this is a persistent headache, at times severe. It could be a daily occurrence that could be intense. It could also occur in phases, a period where there is a headache and a period where there is none. Symptoms of hemicranias;
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Swollen eyelids
  • Sensitivity to sound and light.

Secondary headaches could be caused by illness or severe medical conditions that affect the nervous system. Symptoms are;

  • Sleep disorder
  • Brain tumor
  • Stroke
  • Head trauma
  • Seizures
  • Leaking spinal fluid

There are other types of headaches. These are;

  • Migraine headache
  • Hypertension headache
  • Post-traumatic headache
  • Hormone headache
  • Sinus headache

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