Migraine Headache Types and Symptoms

what causes migraine headaches

Almost two-thirds of the world’s population suffers from headaches at some time or another. Most of the times headaches do not suggest a serious disorder. The head has many components that can create pain including the sinuses, the eyes, the teeth, and the ears.

Contrary to what most people believe, injury to the actual brain does not create any headache or any other sort of pain because the brain itself has no pain sensitivity. Headaches are a relatively common problem among students as well.



Fortunately for most people, headaches are not very frequent and do not interfere with normal daily life activities. However, some people experience severe and/or frequent headaches that result in loss of time from their daily life activities.

The intensity of the headache is not a good symptom of the seriousness of its cause. Mild headaches can be the early warnings of a more serious disease and excruciating headaches can have many causes. There are many causes that, either alone or in a combination, can lead to headaches.

These factors include stress, too little or too much sleep, eating or drinking too much, being in a noisy environment and making heavy work indoors or outdoors.

From a physiological point of view, there are only two causes of headache pain.

First Cause of Headache Pain

The first is a strain on facial, neck, and scalp muscles, usually caused by tension.

Second Cause of Headache Pain

The second is the swelling of blood vessels in the head area which results in strain within their walls.

These two types of headaches are called tension and vascular headaches, and they are responsible for 90 percent of all chronic recurrent headaches.



What causes headaches?

There are many types and causes of headaches. The most frequent types of headaches are tension headaches and migraine headaches, which together make up 80% of headaches seen by doctors.

Other common, but less in frequency headache types are those due to a sinus infection and “analgesic rebound” headaches.

Analgesic rebound headaches are created by the overuse of pain killers and are most often found in people with frequent headaches.

Should I get doctor consultation about my headaches?

Any headache pain that is new and severe, persistent, or frequent should be examined by a doctor. If your headaches create problems with your normal daily activities or interfere in other ways, you should see a doctor to find out the cause of the headaches.

Headache diagnostic procedures often include a series of questions and a brief medical examination, but may frequently it involves more extensive examinations to determine the actual cause or causes of the headaches.

Before you visit your doctor for evaluation it is helpful if you note some of the characteristics of your headaches:

• what the pain is like
• where it hurts
• how often it occurs
• how long it lasts
• what makes it better
• what makes it worse.

The different Headache Types

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common headache type. The pain is usually dull and general. It feels as if someone is tightening a headache band around head.

There may be a burning sensation and tenderness expanding from the head to the neck and shoulders. Sometimes the pain may be more intense in one part of the head than another.

Symptoms emerge from the tightening of head muscles, usually in response to tension, fatigue, or emotional stress.

Vascular Headaches

Vascular headaches emerge when the large blood vessels of the head are misplaced and stretched, pressing on the sensitive adjoining tissue and creating pain.

Tumors, blood clots, swelling of the brain, hypertension, and disease of the blood vessels can all cause vascular headache, but the great majority of vascular headaches are migraines.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches, which are frequently found in families, are characterized as chronic, recurrent pain in the head that occurs due to constriction and dilation of blood vessels.

Migraine Headaches are usually triggered by outside events. Among the causes of Migraine Headaches may be menstruation, weight loss diets, fatigue and exposure to bright lights and sounds. About 20 percent of adults, mostly women that are in the reproductive years, suffer from migraine.

Migraine Headaches are also known as ‘Female headaches’. The pain is most of the times (but not always) located over the temple on one side of the head. It is usually severe pain.

Sometimes the artery is even visibly pulsating at the temple. The symptoms for migraine headache become more intense after sudden head movement or exertion and may last a few hours to a number or days.

They may occur at irregular intervals or appear several times a week. Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dizziness, and sensitivity to light may also accompany migraine headaches.



Migraine Headache Types

Classical migraine headaches are responsible for 20 percent of all cases. Their warnings of classical migraine headaches are an aura, which is caused by constriction of the blood vessels, lasting 10 to 40 minutes.

Migraine Headache

The migraine with aura can consist of light flashes, geometric patterns, visual loss in one or both eyes, tingling in the fingers and tongue, mild confusion and slurred speech. The aura is followed by a strong headache that always strikes the same side.

Common Migraine Headaches affect the entire head. It usually comes without the warning aura.

Complicated migraine is characterized by the paralysis of the eye movement, weakness or paralysis of the limbs, headache and vertigo for days, tingling, blindness and even loss of consciousness.

Can Migraines Last for Days

The attack of cluster migraine headaches can make someone wake up from sleep. The pain usually is concentrated on one eye (migraine headache symptoms eye).

Cluster migraine headaches consist of a variety of symptoms and it is more common in men over the age of 40 than in women. Attacks occur in clusters, sometimes two or three times in 24 hours and can last for days or weeks.

A cluster migraine headache crisis lasts 30 to 90 minutes. Often the affected eye streams and the nose runs or is blocked. Someone may experience a series of cluster migraine headaches attacks, then be migraine-free for years.

So we can say that the Main Difference between Migraine Headache vs Cluster Headache is that Migraine Headache is Normally in Women and Cluster Headache more common in Men.

Migraine Headache Food Triggers

Certain Food may be responsible for triggering migraine headaches. People who suffer from migraine headache identified

Migraine-Headache-Food-Triggers
Migraine-Headache-Food-Triggers
  • Alcohol,
  • Chocolate,
  • Cheese,
  • Shellfish and
  • Foods containing Nitrates or MSG

as substances that can cause them a migraine headache.

Changing your diet for migraine prevention and trying to remove these foods may be helpful. Women with migraines should also consult their doctors before using oral contraceptives. Low blood sugar can be a cause for headaches, therefore it is important to maintain regular eating times. Plenty of rest and not feeling stress are very important as well.

Migraine Cluster Headache Treatment

Medications used in the Migraine cluster Headache Treatment fall into two categories: those used for the cure of migraines (during the attack) and those for prevention of future migraine headaches attack.

What can I do to treat my headaches?

The way of living and lifestyle, in general, has a significant effect on the frequency and severity of headaches. Most people suffering from headaches find that their headaches become better if they:

exercise to reduce migraince headaches

Perform the regular moderate exercise

• Do not skip any meals. In fact, when they eat smaller, more frequent meals (5-6 per day) this has shown that the frequency of migraine headaches is reduced

Migraine headache foods to avoid – Reduce caffeine intake and alcohol consumption, no more than one drink a day.

• Maintain a regular sleep program. Wakeup and go to bed at about the same time every day. If you experience headaches on holidays or weekends this may be due to a change in the number of sleep hours (too much or too little).

• Carry out relaxation and biofeedback exercises on a regular basis.

One or more of the following measures like tension headache band should ease a simple tension or vascular headache.

First and most importantly try to relax. Stretch your legs and try to massage the muscles of your shoulders, neck, jaws, and scalp. Take a hot bath and lie down in a quiet room with no lights.

Try to place a warm dry cloth or, if it feels better, a cold wet one, over the area in pain. Drink plenty of fresh juices or other non-alcoholic drinks, and take a mild pain killer such as aspirin.

A nap or a good night’s sleep is often the best treatment of migraine headaches.


Symptoms for Migraine Headache

The migraine headaches if they are not treated effectively they can last from 4 hours to 3 days. The main symptoms for migraine headache are the headache and apart from it other symptoms include nausea, migraine headache vomiting symptoms, and intolerance to light and sound. Some people also experience prior to a migraine headaches crisis vision disorder.

The experience of migraine headaches differs from person to person so each patient describes their own experience from migraine headaches. The frequency of migraine headaches crisis can vary from patient to patient. It can be very rare to very frequent. On average, each patient may experience migraine headaches crises every 2 to 3 months.

What are the migraine headache symptoms?

1. The headache

The main symptom of migraine headaches is the headache. In the two-thirds of the cases, the headache is detected in only half the part of the head, usually behind the eye (symptoms of migraine headache in the eye), while in the remaining one-third of the cases the pain lies across the whole head.

In terms of intensity, the pain is very strong and persistent. Most people suffering from migraine headaches feel that a hammer is hitting their heads from the inside in the same rhythm as their pulse.

2. Mild pain that gradually becomes intense

A common symptoms for migraine headache is that usually the migraine headache pains begins as mild and develops to become a vibrant pain.

The pain can be transferred from one part of the head to the other and is usually more intense in the front or around the head. The frequency of a crisis varies considerably from person to person.

Many people experience 2 -4 migraine crises a month. Some may experience migraines every few days, while in others it appears only once or twice a year.

The most easily recognizable symptoms for migraine headache is that the pain is identified in only one side of the head. Other symptoms also include:

3. Migraine with an Aura

The term aura means a series of neurological symptoms, such as shimmer or vision, numbness on one side of the body, weakness, hallucinations, speech disorders, etc.

The aura is a symptom of migraine headaches that exists in only a small percentage of the patients. The Migraine Headache symptoms may also include vision impairment; problems with hearing, smell, taste or touch. The Migraine with an aura can last from a few minutes to an hour. The most common type aura is the visual aura and can cause illumination or sparking figures in the vision.

4. Other symptoms associated with migraine headaches may be: Sickness, Intolerance to light, sounds, odors or movement, stomach strain strikes, discomfort, abdominal pain, Loss of appetite, Fatigue, headache and vertigo for days, Diarrhea

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