Kinds of Migraines

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Headaches seem to be a way of life for some people.  They get one or two or three or four a week.  While these headaches are bothersome and painful they more than likely aren’t migraines but rather tension headaches.  You can get them from stress, overexertion, sitting at a desk working too hard (mention that to your boss) and a few other factors.  Our fast paced life, with people sometimes working two jobs, juggling family and work, commuting in traffic for hours and raising families—is it any wonder that we are purchasing over the counter headache medicine in ever increasing amounts? Where we once bought small bottles of pills to relieve our infrequent headaches, we can now buy bottles with hundreds of pills at most stores and these bottles don’t seem to last as long anymore.
Migraines, a more serious and painful kind of headache, affect millions of people but they are still much less common than the tension headache. Tension headaches cause a fairly consistent pain over the entire head, instead of a throbbing brutal pain in one spot. Stress and fatigue can precipitate a tension headache as well as a migraine, but migraines can also be set off, or triggered, by changes in a body’s hormonal levels, certain foods, and changes in the weather. A tension headache will respond to treatment with over the counter drugs, and while sometimes these same medications will help a migraine, a migraine headache medication will not touch a tension headache.
There are two main kinds of migraines: those with aura and those without aura.  Aura is a neurologic disturbance that precedes the actual migraine itself.  Migraine with aura is not as common as migraine without aura.  Patients who get aura can experience visual distortions, double vision, blurred vision, lights and dazzling flashes, all of which can disrupt normal daily activities.  Aura can also occur without resulting in a migraine, which can result in a mis-diagnosis of the migraine type.  An ocular migraine is one where the patient experiences visual distortions, like zig-zagging colorful lights, floaters in the eyes, the feeling of looking through wavy glass or missing pieces or chunks of their visual field.  While disturbing, these visual disturbances that come before the migraine do not damage the vision permanently.
No matter what kind of headache you suffer from—whether it’s a migraine with aura, without aura, or a simple tension headache–it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor about them to see if you can get some relief.  There are methods, both medicinal and natural, to help you feel better and stop the pain of migraines.
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Content: PLR, Image: Pixabay

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