Healthy Living

The Difference Between Headaches & Migraines

Is Migraine Another Word For Headache?

Is A Migraine Another Word For A Headache?

When a headache is recurrent, it is usually referred to as a migraine. A migraine is a throbbing headache that remains on one side of the head, but it can be experienced throughout the head as well. Pain can also be experienced around the inner eyes and ears. 

People experiencing migraines will suffer from this type of headache for up to 72 hours. Other symptoms of a migraine can include nausea and vomiting, and women usually suffer from migraines more often than men. 

Migraines, unlike normal headaches, are categorized into two types: With aura and without aura. A migraine with aura has symptoms before an attack, while a migraine without aura would have almost no symptoms before an attack.

Migraines can be found in all ages, and they can even affect children as young as 12 months. Most migraine conditions in children are not diagnosed because parents do not understand the condition. Most of these children experience it like a normal headache.

The majority of people who experience migraines are within the ages of 18 to 45. During this period, a high percentage of victims are women. As people approach the age of 45 to 50 years, migraine cases reduce.

Symptoms of a Migraine

Migraines are recurrent and severe. They also come with symptoms that appear in phases, unlike a normal headache. These phases include:

  • Prodrome Phase: Also known as premonitory symptoms. They are only experienced in around 60 percent of people who have migraines. These symptoms are mostly experienced two hours to two days before the pain. They may include fatigue, cravings, irritability, depression, and euphoria.
  • Aura Phase: The symptoms in this phase appear slowly and are experience before and during a migraine. These symptoms can be sensory, motor or visual in nature. Visual symptoms usually account for around 99% of all cases.
  • Pain Phase: The symptoms in this stage include a throbbing and severe pain. It occurs for approximately 4 to 72 hours in adults and less than 1 hour in young kids. The frequency of the headaches in these cases also vary. Symptoms can include pain around the neck, sensitivity to smells, light and sound, and nausea.
  • Post-drome: The symptoms in this stage happen after the headache has disappeared. During this stage, you can feel hungover, tired, moody, and weak.

What Causes Migraines?

According to research, there are a number of things that can cause migraines. They include:

  • Pregnancy
  • Change in diet
  • Physical exercises
  • Menstruation

The Bottom Line

A migraine is a type of headache, but is an entirely different condition from a normal headache. A migraine's features are very different from a normal headache. However, just because you experience a migraine does not mean you have a serious condition. The best way to recognize a migraine's symptoms is through practice. We advise that if you need advice on how to deal with migraines, then visit your doctor to learn as much as you can.

Key Takeaways

  • The difference between migraines and headaches
  • How to differentiate between the two