Although migraines affect over 37 million people in the United States, fewer than 5% of those affected have been correctly diagnosed and treated. Before you write off your problem as just another headache, understand the distinctions between headaches and migraines. Knowing the key distinctions could provide you with long-deserved comfort.
Headaches: Common Types and Causes
There are several distinct types of headaches, so determining the source and type of your discomfort might assist you in figuring out what’s wrong. Some of the most common types include:
- Tension headaches: Tension headaches are characterized by a spreading pain from back to front, generally starting at the rear and moving forward. This is the most frequent type of headache pain. Tension headaches are frequently caused by eyestrain, stress, and hunger, which can be persistent.
- Sinus headaches: When you’re ill or congested, as many as one in three people experience headaches. These headaches typically occur when you’re sick or stuffy. The swelling of the sinus passages causes discomfort behind the cheeks, nose, and eyes. When you wake up on a morning, bend forward, and the pain is at its worst.
- Cluster headaches: Cluster headaches are excruciating, recurring headaches that come in “clusters,” or at the same time (often at the same time), and sometimes up to several times a day for months. They’re caused by an increase in blood vessel dilation due to a surge of serotonin and histamines. Physical activity, bright lights, or even altitude can all trigger
What is a Migraine?
When most people hear the word “migraine,” they think of a severe headache. Headaches are only one symptom of migraines, and their severity and length can vary considerably. The changes in brain activity cause blood in the brain and surrounding tissues to fluctuate, producing a variety of symptoms. In addition to severe head pain, migraine sufferers may experience some or all of the following symptoms:
- Increased sensitivity to light, sound or smells
- Extreme fatigue
Headaches are generally straightforward to diagnose, but migraines have a variety of causes. If you get migraines, you may discover that particular circumstances trigger them. Triggers vary from person to person and can include:
- Gender and hormonal shifts: Women are three times more likely to have migraines than males. Menstrual cycles and hormones are a factor in women’s migraines.
- Allergies: Allergies are a group of symptoms that include irritation and inflammation in the body. Because migraines are linked to blood vessel inflammation, some people who have migraines also suffer from allergies.
- Family history and genetics: Those who have family members with migraines are more prone to get them themselves. Scientists have found a genetic mutation that is prevalent in people with the most common type of migraine.
- Environmental: Triggers can be divided into numerous categories, including everything from weather to tension to food smells and lack of sleep.
While there is no specific cure for headaches and migraines, medication and lifestyle modifications may assist with pain management as well as reduce the likelihood of future occurrences. The GMI Research Centers are researching migraines and are seeking new participants to join. Our studies seek to determine the safety and efficacy of an investigatory drug for the treatment of those with the disease. To see if you qualify for our study, be sure to give us a call today.