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Headaches vs. Migraines

Headaches and Migraines

Tension Headaches

Pain on both sides of head. Usually dull and persistent and feel like pressure or a band around head. Usually last from 30 minutes to a week. Can become chronic over time and wake you up at night. Can be caused by emotional or physical stress or loud music. Treatment involves regular sleep, eating a balanced diet and relaxation techniques. See your doctor if you think you suffer from tension headaches.

Cluster Headaches

Rare and severe. Usually affects men. Severe pain behind one eye that usually occurs at night and wakes you up. Associated with tears in one eye and nasal blockage or drainage on that side. Pain lasts 15-90 minutes and can occur daily in groups or clusters for days to weeks at a time. They can stop for a year or several years. Treatment involves medication management and pure oxygen inhalation. See your doctor if you think you suffer from cluster headaches.

Migraine Headache

Moderate to severe throbbing pain usually on one side of head. Associated often with nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and noise. Can have a warning 10-30 minutes prior to headache called an aura. Can be lines or spots before the eyes, total darkness, tingling or numbness in the limbs and speech impairment. The pain can last between 4-72 hours. Causes can be diet triggers, bright or flashing lights, irregular sleeping or eating patterns, loud noises, strong smells, weather changes or emotional factors such as stress or fatigue. Treatment involves lifestyle changes of avoiding triggers and medication management if appropriate. See your doctor if you think you suffer from migraine headaches.

Temporal Arteritis

Not common, usually affects people over age 55. Persistent pain anywhere over the head. Can be severe and burning. Other symptoms include eyesight problems, mild fever, weight loss and jaw pain when chewing. Caused by inflammation of the arteries that supply your head with blood. See your Doctor immediately if you have these symptoms, as they require prompt treatment. ***If you have never seen a doctor for your headaches or are unhappy with your current headache treatment, please call our office at (225) 769-2200 to schedule an appointment with one of our Neurologists.