Anyone who deals with chronic headaches and/or migraines knows that that they can halt everything in your life until they subside. But how do you know if it is a migraine or just a headache?
Headaches are unpleasant pains in your head that can cause pressure and aching. The pain can range from mild to severe, and they usually occur on both sides of your head. Some specific areas where headaches can occur include the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A headache can last anywhere from 30 minutes to a week. Here are the most common headaches.
- Cluster headaches
- Sinus headaches
- Chiari headaches
- Thunderclap headaches
- Tension headaches (most common)
Here are some common ways to treat headaches.
- Over the counter medications
- Relaxation techniques
- heat therapy, such as applying warm compresses or taking a warm shower
- neck stretching
- relaxation exercises
Migraine headaches are intense or severe and often have other symptoms in addition to head pain. A migraine headache will cause intense pain that may be throbbing and will make performing daily tasks very difficult. Here are some common side effects one will have when experiencing a migraine.
- Pain behind one eye or ear
- Pain in the temples
- Seeing spots or flashing lights
- Sensitivity to light and/or sound
- Temporary vision loss
- making changes to your diet, such as eliminating foods and substances known to cause headaches, like alcohol and caffeine
- taking prescription medications, such as antidepressants, blood pressure-lowering medicines, antiepileptic medications, or CGRP antagonists
- taking steps to reduce stress
- anti-nausea medicines, such as promethazine (Phenergan), chlorpromazine (Thorazine), or prochlorperazine (Compazine)
- mild to moderate pain relievers, such as acetaminophen, or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as aspirin, naproxen sodium, or ibuprofen
- triptans, such as almotriptan (Axert), rizatriptan (Maxalt), or sumatriptan (Alsuma, Imitrex, and Zecuity)
If you are unsure, always talk to you doctor.