How to diagnose migraine? Which part of the head hurts?
3 Min Read
Migraine headaches can be a debilitating and distressing condition, causing a variety of symptoms. It is important to differentiate migraines from other types of headaches, such as tension headaches, as their treatment and management strategies can differ. Let’s now quickly look into the key aspects of migraines, including their symptoms, triggers, and other important factors.
What is a Migraine?
Migraines are a distinct form of headache that manifests as a severe throbbing or pulsating sensation localized on one side of the head, which may shift sides during an attack.
Unlike other headaches, such as tension headaches, that cause generalized pain on both sides of the head, migraine pain is limited to only one side.
In addition, migraines, unlike other types of headaches, can induce other symptoms, including nausea, vomiting, and heightened sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia), which can significantly impact an individual’s daily routine.
Migraine pain is often described as pulsating or throbbing with moderate to severe intensity. On the other hand, tension headaches usually cause a dull and aching pain that is not pulsating.
Duration of a migraine pain
Migraines usually last for several hours to a few days, while tension headaches are usually shorter, lasting from 30 minutes to a few hours.
Frequency of migraine pain
Migraine attacks are known to happen a few times a month, while tension headaches can be more frequent, occurring daily or almost every day.
Also, tension headaches can occur more frequently than migraines.
Understanding migraine triggers
Common migraine triggers include
- Certain foods
- Hormonal changes
- Lack of sleep, and
- Environmental factors like strong odors or bright lights.
Tension headaches, on the other hand, are often associated with muscle tension and stress but lack specific triggers like migraines.
Read more on: 5 types of migraines, their causes, and treatments.
What are the symptoms of migraines?
Migraines often come with additional symptoms beyond headaches. Symptoms include:
- Headache on one side of the head
- Photophobia (sensitivity to light)
- Photophobia (sensitivity to sound)
Some people may also experience visual disturbances called an aura before or during a migraine attack.
Read more on: Are migraines curable?
Differentiating migraines from other types of headaches
Headaches can vary in type and location, which helps in distinguishing between migraines and other forms of head pain:
- Tension headaches: These can feel like a tight band squeezing the head and occur around the back of the head, temples, and forehead.
- Migraines: They typically occur on one side of the head, although the pain can shift sides. Migraines are commonly associated with additional symptoms like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.
- Cluster headaches: These headaches tend to be localized, often occurring behind or around one eye.
- Post-traumatic headaches: These headaches frequently manifest in the temples, forehead, and neck following a head injury or trauma.
- Medication overuse headaches: The location of these headaches can vary from person to person and may be linked to excessive use of certain medications.
- Sinus headaches: These headaches cause pain inside the forehead, cheekbones, and nasal cavity and are often associated with sinus congestion.
Try the FREE self-check for migraine
Are you experiencing symptoms of a migraine and want to know for sure? Take advantage of our FREE self-check for migraine, which only takes a few minutes to complete. By answering a few questions, you’ll receive a detailed report on your risk levels. Rest assured that this tool is certified by medical professionals, and your personal information will remain confidential.
Migraines are more than just regular headaches. They are complex neurological conditions that can cause intense pain and other symptoms. To effectively manage and reduce the impact of migraines, it is important to learn about their specific features, including triggers and treatment options. If you think you might have migraines, it’s best to seek medical advice from a healthcare professional who can provide a proper diagnosis and personalized treatment plan.
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