What is the Difference Between a Headache and a Migraine?

Headaches and migraines are two of the most common types of primary headache disorders. While they share some similarities, they are also distinct in many ways. Headaches cause pain in the head, face, or upper neck, and can vary in frequency and intensity. A migraine is an extremely painful primary headache disorder that often produces symptoms that are more intense and debilitating than headaches.

If you have a migraine, you may experience pain on one or both sides of your head. The pain is usually more severe on one side. A tension headache is accompanied by a dull pain and tension or pressure; a migraine headache produces a strong heartbeat or pulse. Cluster headaches cause stinging or extreme burning near one eye.

Migraine is a genetic and neurological condition that often causes headache, but it is also associated with many other symptoms, including increased sensitivity to light, sound, movement, and odors, as well as dizziness, brain fog, abdominal pain, speech difficulties, visual disturbances, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and irritability. Cluster headaches are very painful headaches that occur on one side of the head and come in groups. It can be difficult to determine what the normal frequency of headaches and migraines is, so if you experience more headaches or migraines than usual, contact your doctor or visit Indigo Urgent Care to discuss what is happening and if you need to find a specialist. Identifying and treating headaches as early as possible can help a person participate in preventive treatments to minimize the chance of having another headache.

Debora Lehneis
Debora Lehneis

Award-winning food advocate. Subtly charming bacon practitioner. Alcohol enthusiast. Proud travel aficionado. Incurable twitter scholar.

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