One has experienced a headache at least once in their life time but what makes migraines different from the usual headaches is the intensity with which they strike a patient. Certain studies show that there is an artery that is just outside the skull and above the temple that dilates or enlarges responding to any event that triggers it off be it excess caffeine intake or a stress related problems. The chemicals that are released due to enlargement cause pain, inflammation or even lead to greater artery enlargement.
Most of the headaches that one experience are not migraines and are caused by change in sleep patterns, stress, certain allergens, and even due to fatigue.
One can easily cure them through rest or taking certain medicines. But around thirty seven million Americans are suffering from migraines and following are what they might experience-
- Blurring of vision
- Eye pain
- Visual aura
- Sensitivity to light or sound
Since each patient’s experience of migraine is different therefore the experiences will vary. Some might experience one or many symptoms that have been stated above.Women are more prone to suffering from migraine. It is attributed to fluctuations in the hormones that are caused either due to menstruation or due to menopause. There is also the question of whether anyone in the family has or is suffering from migraine as migraine can be traced genetically. Being overweight increases the risk of a headache slowly progressing into becoming a migraine. Let us look at the differences between normal headaches also known as tension headaches and migraine.When it comes to headaches in general it can result in a dull pressure to tight squeeze in the neck or the head region whereas migraines are accompanied by throbbing pain and can cause one to be sensitive to smell, noise and light. Pain is divided in the head and is a sign of migraine whereas in headaches pain is all over the head or in the neck region. Headaches are mild to normal and can subside within a day whereas in migraine they can become very severe and can last for a few days. Other symptoms that happen during a migraine but are rare for headaches are –
- Problem with speech
- Sensation of needles and pins on the body
- Loss of vision
- The most important one is experiencing an aura which is either spots of light or flashes of light.
There are several warning signs that the body gives before the onset of a migraine and which does not occur in the usual headaches-
- Neck stiffness
The reasons why migraine occurs are –
- Loud noise
- Bright light
- Strange smells
- Consumption of certain types of food
- Change in sleep pattern
- Change in eating pattern
- Caffeine consumption
There are many kinds of headaches which cannot be termed as a tension headache or migraine and one of them is known as a cluster headache. Such type of headache is severe and occurs in clusters in a day and the pattern is such that it happens at the same time every day. The other kind is sinus headache and caused due to runny nose or nasal congestion.
One can adopt certain measures to alleviate the pain a migraine can cause and these include-
- Getting proper sleep
- Birth control pills
- Changes in one’s diet