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Quiz to Assess Head Pain: Headache or Migraine?

By: Ian Murnaghan BSc (hons), MSc - Updated: 16 Dec 2017 | comments*Discuss
Quiz To Assess Head Pain: Headache Or Migraine?

If you have suffered from head pain and other types of symptoms that you don't expect with the odd headache or two that most of us experience from time to time, then you may wonder if it's a migraine. Migraines are not like the typical headaches that result from tension or low blood sugar, for instance. They tend to have more unique symptoms and signs as well as triggers that are shared or can be unique to your own body, environment and lifestyle.

Quizzing yourself on your head pain can help you to understand if your head pain is from a migraine or another kind of headache. With this newfound knowledge, you can then see your doctor and perhaps more accurately describe your symptoms and signs.

Intensity Of Pain

One of the telltale symptoms of a migraine is that the intensity of the pain is typically far more severe than a general headache. Consider rating your head pain on an intensity scale of one through ten. A migraine headache is a severe kind of headache that would not be considered at the low end of this scale. In fact, patients may find the pain so intense that they simply can't function and have to withdraw from activities or go and lie down in a darkened room.

Duration Of Pain

Migraine headaches tend to last longer than many other kinds of headaches and can actually go on for days. They also don't respond as well to over-the-counter painkillers such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen. If you find that your head pain lasts four hours or more and it is far from a fleeting headache that is eased by a pain reliever, then you could possibly be suffering from migraines.

Head Pain And Vision

Migraine sufferers may complain of visual problems such as blurred vision or unusual visual patterns and disturbances known as an 'aura.' Those who suffer from other kinds of headaches are less likely to report these kinds of changes in their vision. They may have to rapidly find a darkened room to lie down, which may ease the pain somewhat.

Type Of Head Pain

Migraine headaches tend to be intense, pulsating kinds of headaches. Ask yourself where you feel the head pain. Migraine pain can be very one-sided as well, rather than an all-over, dull kind of head pain that you might find with other kinds of headaches.

Nausea Or Vomiting

Migraine sufferers sometimes complain of nausea and vomiting while most other headaches do not trigger these kinds of gastrointestinal complaints. If you find that you experience nausea or you begin to vomit when you are experiencing head pain, then you can consider this a sign of migraine headaches.

Seeing Your Doctor

A headache quiz is a good starting point for understanding your head pain, but your doctor is the most important person to make the diagnosis. Seeing your doctor to determine if you have headaches or migraines will allow you to learn more about your condition and obtain the best treatment possible. Nobody should suffer from head pain on a regular basis and by taking control of your health and obtaining diagnosis and treatment, you can get back to a pain-free life.

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@Bevy - have you been to the docs? There are many different types of migraine. Cluster headaches affect the eyes and generally one side of the face. The pain is so intense, people feel like banging their head against a wall. But you should see your GP and you should try and stop using a painkiller that can affect your stomach and can lead to chronic inflammation and/or worse. So you need to check with your doc which one won't harm the lining of your stomach. I can empathise, my migraines are awful - but yours sound like hell.
LouBN - 18-Dec-17 @ 9:51 AM
I don't know what kind of headache I get, but I'm to the point where I just want to blow my head off, I'm going through 8-10 bc powders a day ( which then hurts my stomach, the lesser of two evils) my face hurts all the time, especially behind my eyes, nose, and upper skull, a doctor gave me naproxen which I tried to follow the rules but it only helped if I took a Bc powder chaser, and then it only helps for 3-4 hours before it hits me again....help!!!!, I'm losing it, it's affecting my marriage, my job, my life!!
Bevy - 16-Dec-17 @ 1:44 PM
I have been getting a big headache at the back of my head, which does not let me turn my head alone and I move as if I have pulled a muscle in my neck. just before the headache comes I get a faint tickle in the midlle of my chest as if I am going to burp! it has been happening for around three months. any ideas?
graham - 3-Jan-12 @ 4:47 PM
Had a headache yesterday and vb it dragged on to today. I can't move my head to fast or I get a sharp pain. Any idea? Migrain or headache or sinus? Mainly forehead and around my eyes.
K - 13-Oct-11 @ 2:01 AM
I get a headache about 3 to 4 times a week often feeling sick some times just in one side of my head like a stabbing pain.
vic - 21-Mar-11 @ 2:58 PM
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