Did you know that in the U.S., 12% of the population suffers from migraines or severe headaches? It may not seem like a lot, but that’s over 9 million people!

Have you wondered about a tension headache vs. migraine? Here’s how to tell the difference. 

What is a Migraine? 

When it comes to a migraine vs. headache, a migraine is a more intense headache. However, sometimes a migraine is so severe that the individual needs medical attention.

There are four phases to a migraine: prodrome, aura, headache, and postdrome. 

In the prodrome phase, people experience neck stiffness, food cravings, and mood swings. This phase can occur days or hours before the migraine arrives. 

People experience sensory disturbances such as blurred vision in the aura phase. However, not everyone will go through the aura phase, referred to as a non-aura migraine. 

The headache phase includes mild to debilitating pain. In the postdrome phase, the pain goes away, but the person can still feel tired, confused, and unwell. 

Migraine symptoms vs. headache are also stronger; they include: 

  • nausea
  • pain behind one eye or ear
  • pain in temples
  • seeing flashing lights or spots 
  • light/sound sensitivity
  • blurred vision

What is a Headache? 

Headaches are one the most common issues that medical professionals treat. This is because the nerves in your blood vessels switch on and send pain signals to the brain, which causes the headache. But, the science behind how these signals get turned on is still unclear. 

There are over 150 varieties of headaches, and here are the most common types include: 

  • tension 
  • cluster
  • sinus
  • hormone
  • caffeine
  • exertion
  • hypertension
  • rebound 
  • post-traumatic 

Migraine symptoms vs. headaches will appear similar, but headaches are less severe.

One of the most common headaches is tension headaches, also known as stress headaches.

Tension Headache vs Migraine 

This variety of headaches has mild to moderate pain like a band wrapped around your head. When comparing migraine vs stress headache symptoms, tension headaches are less debilitating. Symptoms include dull head pain, tightness across the forehead or on the sides or back of the head as well as scalp, neck, and shoulder tenderness. 

Headache vs. Migraine Difference

Next time you are suffering from head pain, it’s important to note the difference to best figure out how to treat it. While headaches come with pain, they do not last as long as migraines. Headaches are more manageable and less distressing. 

Headache and Migraine Triggers

Knowing what triggers headaches and migraines can help decrease the number you have. Some of the most common triggers include weather changes, dehydration, lack of sleep, computer overuse, air pollution, slouching, stress, red wine, and cheese. 

Get Headache Relief Today

We hope you enjoyed learning more about a tension headache vs. migraine. From headaches to migraines, we hope this information helps you avoid triggers as well as unnecessary pain and pressure. 

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Patricia Ann Cole has been writing stories since she was a child. Most of those stories were of a paranormal nature. In her adult life she earned a BA in mathematics and taught elementary math for many years. She loves to read, particularly romance novels. She can talk for hours about a TV series. She adores her cat, Sonic. She loves spending time with family and friends, especially her nieces and nephew. She is an avid traveler and enjoys the more exotic adventures.