How Are Migraines Different from Headaches?

Migrane's Hurt
Man with the dreaded Migraine headache

Migraine headaches are painful headaches that occur on a regular basis. Besides the pain of the headache, some people have a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including personality changes, nausea, vomiting. and photosensitivity. Some migraine sufferers even find sounds, smells, and touch painful.


The recurrence of a migraine is different for different people. Some women, for example, have migraines around the time of their menstrual period. Migraines afflict other people after they’ve eaten hard cheeses or salty foods, when they don’t get enough sleep, when the weather abruptly changes and if they take certain medicines such as birth control pills. Migraines can last hours or even days.


Migraines are notoriously painful. Some people describe the pain as an axe or a power drill against one side of their head. Some people even feel the pain on both sides of their head. The pain is often described as throbbing and is sometimes resistant to treatment. Long-term migraines can be considered a disability.

Types of Migraine

There are actually different types of migraines with somewhat different symptoms. They include having a migraine with an aura, a phenomenon when the person sees zig-zag lights, goes numb on one side of their body and suffers from aphasia. There are migraines without an aura, which are called classic migraines. People can also experience a migraine without the pain. Though migraine sufferers may long for a migraine without pain, this is a very scary type of headache. It comes with an aura, nausea and vomiting.

The hemiplegic migraine may make a person believe they’re actually having a stroke,  because they go weak on one side of their body and experience the aura. This type of migraine is also free of head pain.

In a retinal migraine the person goes temporarily blind in one eye, which is terrifying for someone who is experiencing it for the first time. A person with chronic migraine has the headache for more than half of the month.

Migraine Treatment

Fortunately, there are many ways to treat migraine. One newer way is through Botox injections. Botox paralyzes the muscles in the head that many doctors believe lead to migraine when they contract. Medicines can either relieve the pain when it’s happening or prevent it altogether. Doctors also prescribe anti-nausea drugs to help with the nausea and vomiting of some types of migraines.

Migraine headaches suck...
Migraine Headaches suck

Migraine headaches can be ghastly. The pain and other symptoms can be severe enough to make the person think they have a brain tumor or are having a stroke. The good news is that migraine headaches can be treated, and they’re actually not life-threatening. 

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