Almost everyone experiences a headache at some point during their lifetime. Headaches occur for various reasons, and they can cause pain or discomfort, they can make you irritable, and they can make it difficult to focus or carry out your daily routine. Sometimes getting rid of headaches is a simple matter of drinking water, taking over-the-counter (OTC) medicine, or resting. Getting rid of a migraine isn’t quite as easy, however. Migraine headaches are different from typical headaches, and they are typically more severe.
How can you tell if you have a migraine?
It can be difficult to tell the difference between a headache and a migraine. It’s possible to have intense tension headaches, but there are some key differences between migraines and tension headaches.
- A migraine is a medical condition.
- Migraine headaches are characterized by severe pain, often on one side of the head.
- A pulsing or throbbing sensation is typical for migraines, but not for tension headaches.
- Migraines are more likely to be debilitating than tension headaches.
- A migraine often includes additional symptoms, such as nausea and sensitivity to light or sounds.
- Women experience migraines headaches more often than men. Three out of four people with migraines are women.
- People with migraines may have an “aura”, or visual indicating symptoms, shortly before they experience a migraine.
- Migraines can be a recurring problem for some people. 3.2 million people have chronic migraine. Chronic migraine is defined as having migraine headaches 15 days out of the month during a three month period.
What do you do if you have migraines?
It’s unclear exactly what causes migraines. There are, however, environmental factors that can trigger migraine headaches for some people with chronic migraine. These include overuse of OTC or prescription medication, too much caffeine, being overweight, and changes in sleep or exercise habits. Identifying these triggers and making the necessary lifestyle changes could help prevent migraine headaches.
Getting rid of migraines isn’t as easy as getting rid of tension headaches. This is why preventing the migraine should be a priority. Migraines can last for a few hours or a couple of days.
If you experience regular migraines, chronic migraine, or if your headaches get in the way of your daily life, you should talk to your doctor.
Prescription medications may help you with chronic migraines. Botox is also used to help prevent migraines and is approved by the FDA to treat migraine headaches.