Do you experience a frequent headache that makes you feel uncomfortable? Are you skeptical that this throbbing pain may be a migraine attack? Well, it is crucial to differentiate between the two so that you can get faster relief from better treatments.
Here are six common signs that would tell you the differences between a common headache and migraine-
Migraine Causes Severe Pain On One Side Of The Head
Though it is possible to have migraines on either side of the head, you’ll feel pain only on one side. On the other hand, a tension headache results in severe pain all over the head, pressure around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead.
Moreover, depending upon the symptoms, migraine pain is divided into four distinct phases-
Also known as the prodrome phase, the premonitory phase includes non-painful symptoms which occur hours or days before the pain arrives. The signs include:
● Sensitivity to light, smells, or sound
● Frequent yawning
● Mood changes
● Stiffness in the neck
It includes sensory disturbances that occur during or before a migraine attack that can affect the patient’s vision, speech, or touch.
Visual auras may cause the following signs in one or both eyes:
● Blurred vision
● Flashing lights
● Blind spots
● Zig-zag lines
Motor auras may affect your ability to think and communicate properly. It may cause symptoms like jumbled speech, difficulty understanding what others say, trouble writing sentences, etc.
Depending upon the severity of migraine pain, you need to seek immediate medical treatment. If the less invasive options don’t provide you relief, migraine surgery may be the option to consider. During this phase, the physical activity, exposure to sound, light smell worsens the pain.
This phase occurs when the migraine pain subsides. You may feel exhausted, confused, or unfit during this period.
You May Feel Sensations Like Dizziness And Nausea
Researchers have found an association between migraine and gastro-intestinal disorders. It may affect the functioning of the gut and cause you to feel dizziness, nausea, or vomiting sensation.
You Experience Intestinal Issues Like IBS or Constipation
Many intestinal issues such as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) or constipation are associated with migraines. This condition alters the brain’s serotonin production that is responsible for vascular contraction. During constipation, the brain gets flooded with serotonin that causes a headache.
Your Neck Is Stiff, And The Pain Seems It Lasts Forever
Migraine pain may affect the trigeminal nerve, which is a cranial nerve responsible for biting, chewing, or other motor activities of the face. If this nerve gets activated during a migraine attack, it sends pain signals from the spinal cord to the brain. Also, it sends signals to the upper neck causing pain, and stiffness.
Though regular headaches aren’t that frequent, migraines may last from a few hours up to two or three days. However, you may experience this throbbing pain several times a month!
You Get Tired And Feel Weakness
Migraines may affect the sensory functions causing numbness, weakness, and tingling on one side of the body. It is correlated with mental & physical fatigue, memory complaints, and lack of concentration. You may also feel excessive daytime sleepiness and headache after dozing off while traveling.
You May Sometimes Feel Depression Symptoms
Depression and migraines, both relate to the serotonin present in the brain. So, there seems to be a link between migraine pain and symptoms like anxiety, stress, and sensitivity.
According to the American Migraine Foundation (AMA), about 25% of the migraine patients have depression, and around 50% feel anxiety disorders.
Migraine has become quite a common problem for millions of people worldwide. Without proper diagnosis, it may go untreated and worsen the situation. If any of these signs appear true to you, consult a physician to prevent problems in the future.