Most people suffer from headaches at various points in their lives, and according to the World Health Organization, headaches affect about 50% of the world’s adults. Some people may have trouble differentiating between a headache and a migraine, which is a chronic illness.
Therefore, what is the difference between the two?
A headache is a nagging pain in the head that can vary from slight to severe and can last from 30 minutes to a week. It usually occurs on both sides of the head and can include areas such as the front and back, and it falls into two broad categories:
Primary headache, which first includes tension headaches that can be either occasional or chronic. Episodic seizures last several hours, whereas chronic seizures can last 15 days or more, and the cause of these headaches is often sleep deprivation or eye strain. second, cluster headache that lasts between 15 minutes and 3 hours. It occurs suddenly from one to eight times a day and over weeks to months, and often causes severe pain in general in or around the eye. Third, sleep headache, which is a rare type of headache called also, alarm headache because it awakens the patient from sleep at night. Symptoms include mild to moderate heartbeat pain on both sides of the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light. And lastly, migraine, which is a kind of primary headache, but has other symptoms more serious than a headache, known as seizures. It causes severe pain and generally affects one side of the head and can last from a few hours to many days. Migraine is caused by noise, brightness, hormonal changes, certain types of food or drugs, sleep disorders and stress. It can lead to blurred vision, nausea, sensory impairment and numbness of the limbs.
There are three major kinds of migraine. Migraine without aura, in fact, according to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, approximately one in three people has aura-free migraines that cause strong pain and heartbeat on one side of the head and usually lasts between 4-72 hours. Abdominal migraine, which generally affects children between 3 and 10 years of age, causes abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting. And hemiplegic migraine, a rare type of migraine, causes temporary paralysis before or during the headache. Other symptoms can include difficulty speaking, swallowing and moving on one side of the body.
As for secondary headaches, they happen when another condition stimulates the nerves susceptible to pain in the head. Among the most common causes are alcohol, cerebral tumours and blood clots.
There are several types of secondary headaches, such as rebound headaches that are caused by reflux or overuse of drugs to treat symptoms of headaches. It usually begins early in the day and lasts all day. It can cause neck pain, insomnia, a feeling of nasal congestion and lack of sleep. Thunder headache, which is a sudden and severe headache that peaks in less than a minute and lasts longer than 5 minutes. It is often caused by intracerebral haemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, aneurysm, meningitis or stroke. Sinus headache arises from one of the symptoms associated with sinusitis, such as swelling caused by a bacterial infection or an allergy in the sinuses. Its main symptoms include slight pain around the eyes, cheeks and forehead, as well as a thick yellow or green discharge. And finally, a caffeine headache that results from consuming large amounts of caffeine or after a sudden halt to drink large amounts of coffee for more than two weeks. His symptoms include tiredness, loss of concentration and mood swings.
The most common treatment for a headache is pain relief, and there is also a generic over-the-counter pain drug. In the case of migraine headaches, prevention is often the best treatment. This includes a dietary change, such as the elimination of alcohol and caffeine, as well as the use of prescription drugs such as antidepressants and anti-nausea medications.