Differentiating between a headache and a migraine is critical, as it can lead to proper treatment and faster relief.
Headache pain ranges from mild to severe and usually occurs on both sides of your head. However, pain from a headache can also manifest in your temples, your forehead, and the back of your neck.
There are several types of headaches, the most common being a tension headache, which produces dull pain in the back of your head and your forehead. Almost 80% of adults in the United States get tension headaches at some point in their lives.
Other types of headaches include sinus, cluster, or thunderclap headaches.
Migraines cause severe and intense pain, occasionally requiring hospitalization. Migraines normally affect one side of your head and are often accompanied by other symptoms, including:
Pain behind one eye or ear
Pain in the temples
Sensitivity to light and sound
Seeing flashing lights and spots
Temporary vision loss
If you suffer from migraines often, some warning symptoms may appear a few days before a migraine comes on.
Headaches have several causes and are categorized by the International Headache Society as either primary or secondary.
Primary headaches are caused by overactivity and problems in your brain, including anxiety, stress, alcohol intake, and skipped meals.
Secondary headaches are caused by underlying conditions that stimulate pain-sensitive nerves. Such conditions include diseases, blood clots, and brain tumors.
The causes of migraines are not fully understood, but environmental factors and genetics are thought to play a role. For example, an imbalance in brain chemicals may trigger a migraine.
After the completion of a comprehensive evaluation of your condition, the medical professionals at River Oaks Emergency Room determine which treatment option is best for you. Typical headache treatments include:
Migraine treatments are focused on prevention and trigger avoidance. Other migraine treatments include:
Sometimes headaches are the result of more severe medical conditions, such as head injuries or concussions, or they may stem from cerebrovascular incidents, such as strokes.
If headaches or migraines are causing you great pain, visit River Oaks Emergency Room, which is open 24 hours a day, for relief.
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