Migraine and headache: what's the difference?

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Migraine and headache: what's the difference?

Headache is common

The headache or headache is any painful complaint centered on the cranial area. This is a common problem affecting almost one in two people over the age of 15. It is often punctual and short-lived, about two hours or less in 46% of people. The headache is distinguished according to its mode of occurrence, the location of pain, intensity or duration.

Tension headache, a cause of headache

"The causes of headaches are varied, most often benign. There are two main ones: tension headache and migraine ", explains the website of Ameli Health Insurance. Thus, tension headache is the most common cause of prolonged headaches. It is linked to stress, fatigue, psychological stress, and anxiety.

Tension headache is characterized by continuous, mild to moderate, diffuse pain. It is accompanied by an empty head impression with difficulty concentrating or on the contrary a feeling of heavy head. However, it does not worsen with effort, and is not accompanied by nausea or vomiting.

Migraine, well-defined characteristics

Headaches can also translate a migraine. It is a benign disease with its specific characteristics. It is manifested in particular by headaches that occur in seizures of 4 to 72 hours. It is a neurovascular phenomenon related to a genetic predisposition, which is characterized by inflammation of the neurons and dilation of the cerebral vessels, including the arteries of the meninges. Inflammation and dilation are caused by nerve stimulation.

To know if one is concerned, one must have had at least five crises and have presented at least two of these symptoms during each crisis:

  • Localized pain on one side of the head
  • Throbbing or throbbing pain
  • Pain exaggerated by effort or usual activities
  • Moderate or severe pain

A migraine attack also includes one of these symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Vomitings
  • Intolerance to light (photophobia) or noise (phonophobia)

The triggers of a migraine attack are multiple, ranging from a change in lifestyle, such as an excess or lack of sleep, a skipped meal, to the consumption of certain foods or exciting. There are also some sensory factors like a particular smell or a flashing light. Moreover, one can suffer from a migraine because of the hormones: in the woman when there is a brutal decrease of the rate of estrogens at the end of the menstrual cycle.

When to consult?

If headaches become recurrent and / or are difficult to bear, it is advisable to consult your doctor. He will be able to diagnose a possible migraine and prescribe a treatment.

In the case where the headaches are new, intense, and accompanied by other symptoms such as fatigue, pain, vomiting or a drop in vision, the Health Insurance advises to consult his doctor during the day, because it could be a more serious cause. If accompanied by maximal intensity, vomiting, fever and stiffness of the neck, it is recommended to contact the EMS.

Source: Ameli.fr

Read also :

⋙ Migraines d'été: our personalized solutions

⋙ Ophthalmic migraine: how to recognize it and treat it?

⋙ He has a headache in front of 3D movies? It is necessary (perhaps) to consult

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