Most of us know throbbing pain in the temples and consider it a migraine. However, all headaches are not migraine. A survey published in 2021 studied the burden of neurological disorders in India between 1990 and 2019. This study informs that migraine and other headaches have affected 488 million Indian people.
In the answer below, we have discussed the differences between migraines and other headaches, along with other few more questions.
What is the difference between migraines and any other headaches?
Migraines are a type of neurological disorder that affects the nervous system and chemical structure.
Headache is one of the symptoms of migraine. Migraine also induces nausea, dizziness, extreme fatigue, and increased sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Migraine also occurs in four stages. These stages of migraine are prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.
Can people confuse migraine with other headaches?
Yes. People can confuse migraines with other headaches. Some common headaches besides migraine are tension, cluster, hemicrania continua, ice pick, thunderclap, allergy or sinus, hormone, caffeine, exertion, rebound, post-traumatic, spinal, and hypertension.
All these types of headaches have different symptoms. This makes it easier for people to suspect a single headache.
What causes migraine and other headaches?
The exact cause of migraine and other headaches is not clearly known. However, some headaches can occur due to abnormal chemical activity in the brain or changes in the functioning of nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull. The muscles of the head and neck also affect the intensity of headaches.
Besides these factors, genes also put some people at a higher risk of developing headaches. Some headaches occur as a result of a disease, which activates pain-sensitive nerves reaching the head.
How to treat migraines and other headaches?
People can treat their migraines and headaches through self-medication or visiting a doctor.
Almost everyone gets headaches. However, if the symptoms are affecting routine chores, it is time to see a doctor. A doctor can help manage the symptoms to improve the quality of life.
Headaches are easily treated with aspirin, ibuprofen, and acetaminophen. These medicines are available over the counter.
Tricyclic antidepressants can manage chronic headaches in some people. Besides this, alternative therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy, biofeedback, massage therapy, and acupuncture can reduce stress to diminish the severity and frequency of headaches.
Migraine treatment starts with recognizing the triggers and then avoiding them. Another step is learning how to manage triggers to prevent and lessen migraine pain.
Other steps include resting in a quiet or dark place, neck or head massage, and caffeine intake. In addition to these measures, medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, aspirin, triptans, metoprolol, propranolol, amitriptyline, divalproex, topiramate, and erenumab-aooe can also provide relief from the painful symptoms.
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