You might think “headache” and “migraine” are interchangeable words used to describe the same type of discomfort. In layman’s terms, this may be the case. But we're about to examine the fine line between your run-of-the-mill head-throbber and the granddaddy of all cranial calamities: the migraine.
Let’s start off simple. A headache is a common health condition characterized by pain or discomfort in the head or upper neck region. It can vary in intensity and duration, ranging from mild and short-lived to severe and persistent. Managing headaches often involves rest, hydration, relaxation techniques, over-the-counter or prescription medications, and lifestyle adjustments. Thankfully, they leave on their own after a relatively short time. But don't let that fool you; headaches are still a force to be reckoned with. They can still transform a productive workday into a Netflix-and-blanket-burrito marathon.
Now let’s kick things up a notch. A migraine is a neurological disorder characterized by recurrent episodes of severe, throbbing headaches typically affecting one side of the head. These headaches are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, sound, or smell, and visual disturbances known as auras. Migraines can vary in duration and intensity, lasting anywhere from a few hours to several days and causing significant disruption to daily activities and quality of life. They are believed to result from a combination of genetic, environmental, and neurological factors, including changes in brain chemicals, blood flow, and nerve signaling. Management of migraines often involves a combination of preventive measures, lifestyle modifications, acute treatment with medications to relieve symptoms during an attack, and, in some cases, prescription medications specifically designed to prevent migraines or reduce their frequency and severity. Comparing a migraine to a headache is like comparing a roaring hurricane and a gentle breeze.
Nine times out of 10 you can get away with using “headache” and “migraine” as synonyms, but if you ever run into a situation where you need to explain the disparity between the two–now you can. (And either way, you know HungovrAF can help combat both.)