Migraine and Headache, both are such irritating, throbbing pains that can make you completely uncomfortable and spoil your mood as well as your entire day. Due to their almost similar nature and intensity, many a times it becomes difficult to differentiate between them. A majority of people fail to identify a migraine and often gulp down a pill considering it as a common headache. But do you know that this ignorance can cost you a lot later?
How to figure out, you are having a migraine or not?
Migraines are pulsating headaches that occur mostly on one side of your head, causing pressure on your temples or behind either eye. Unlike headaches, migraine can last from a few hours up to several days. A migraine never comes alone, it is accompanied by many other symptoms like:
- Pain behind one eye or ear
- Pain in the temples
- Seeing spots or flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Temporary vision loss
- Lightheadedness and fainting
- Sinus symptoms
- Food cravings
- Neck stiffness
There are many types of migraines and each has different characteristics. Study its symptoms, patterns and triggers, and consult a doctor to know the root cause of your migraine. Watch out for these triggers:
- A change in lifestyle or environment
- Fluctuations in your sleep pattern
- Skipped meals
- Sensitivity to bright lights, loud noises, or strong odors
- Depression, stress and anxiety
- Certain food reactions
- Hormonal changes
If still, you are not able to figure out the difference between a headache and a migraine, try doing some physical activity to test it. Climb the stairs or continue your basic physical tasks, if you can perform them without discomfort, then it’s just a headache and if it increases your pain or is too intense to even attempt, then it’s a migraine. It is crucial to get migraines tested as it can worsen if not treated timely. Keep a record of your migraine like the time of its appearance, duration, triggers etc., and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Enquire about your family, as a family history can also be the reason behind your migraine.
Since migraines are more severe than a headache, don’t try to treat them yourself.