Migraine is a common health problem, which affects at least 60 million Americans. So what is the difference between a headache and a migraine? Most of us, interchange the two, since migraines and headaches are perceived to be very similar. However, it is important to know the difference, in order to use the right treatments and get faster relief.
Headaches cause a painful feeling, a pressure that usually happens on both sides of your head. The two main types of headaches are:
On the other hand, migraines causes a more intense or severe head pain, which is accompanied by more symptoms like nausea, vomiting, pain behind eyes or ears, in our temples, sensitivity to light, sound or smell, problems with vision. The recurring pain may last up to four to 72 hours. There are different types of migraines, which we will discuss later on, to further identify them from one another.
Now, the only similarity that migraines and headaches have, is that they both bring pain to our heads. The factors that distinguishes one from the other are:
There is more to migraines, than just suffering from a severe pain in the head and other symptoms. Two of the major types of migraine are: migraine with aura, and migraine without aura. “Aura” refers to a neurological symptom that usually happens before a headache. About 20% of migraine sufferers initially experience an ‘aura,’ serving as some kind of a warning sign, before the occurrence of a headache. This usually causes for us to experience changes in our visions like seeing flashing lights or lines, numbness, or tingling sensation in some parts of our body.
Other types, also include: a chronic migraine, which is characterized by its frequent occurrence, happening for about four hours a day, and more than 15 days or more per month. There is also Hemiplegic migraine, which is a rare type, that may cause temporary paralysis that can last for several days during extreme cases. It may also cause vertigo, stabbing sensation, and vision problem.
So what exactly are the root causes of Migraine? There are several reasons that trigger migraines, such as:
Other reasons like family history, as far as first-degree relatives, can also affect us in many ways. Studies have shown that 70 to 75 percent of people suffering from migraine mentioned migraine issues are present in their family history.
A lot of factors, within the body or environment can contribute to causing migraines. But there also various ways on how you can prevent it. A few natural techniques, which you should definitely try out, to reduce the occurrences are: heat therapy, massage, acupuncture, meditation or meditative exercises, such as, yoga and tai chi, stretching, and forms of relaxation exercises.
Additionally, following a proper diet will also come a long way, and includes cutting your consumption of alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. When dehydration is a trigger, drink more water! Regular exercise also contributes to reducing chances of suffering from headaches and migraines as our body releases endorphins when we exercise. Endorphins are our natural painkiller, which also reduce stress levels, and helps us sleep well.