No one likes migraines. The pain in your head can be unbearable and disruptive. Migraine triggers can be confusing. At the same time, it’s not easy to tell the difference between migraines and headaches. Life Advancer explains the difference and introduces a few remedies for your painful migraines.
What’s the difference between a migraine and a headache?
These do what the name suggests – they put pressure on the head that causes aches. They occur around the forehead, temples, and back of the neck. A tension headache is the most common. People may also suffer from:
- Cluster headaches – severely painful aches that occur on one side of the head
- Sinus headaches – these headaches occur with sinus infections. Their symptoms include a cough, stuffy nose, facial pressure, and congestion.
- Thunderclap headaches – these headaches require immediate medical attention. They are a result of stroke, aneurysm or injuries.
So, what’s the difference between a migraine and a headache? Migraines are often severe and have symptoms that accompany the pain in your head. These may include:
- Pain behind the eye or ear
- Pain in the temples
- Flashing lights
- Vision loss
Migraines range from moderate to severe and may affect only one side of the head. People usually experience an aura, or sensation before getting a migraine.
12 migraine triggers that might be responsible for your pains
Migraines have more symptoms than headaches and are therefore a more significant cause for concern. Consequently, things that trigger migraines will interest you.
1. Shifts in routine
First of all, changes in a person’s daily routine may cause a migraine. For example, changing your sleep patterns may precede one. Even fun events like holidays may trigger attacks.
2. Weekend headaches
Furthermore, shifts in routine often occur during weekends, when there is no need to rush in the morning. Eating patterns may change, and caffeine consumption typically decreases. These changes may bring on a nasty pain in your head.
Stress and migraines make best friends, but you don’t get along with either of them. So, you won’t want them to get together. Tension, trauma, and shock trigger migraine attacks. Occasionally, people may experience migraines when they are more relaxed. This study proves that they are a maladaptive response to stress.
Also, irregular or insufficient sleep can start a migraine. Sleeplessness, late nights, and being too tired can trigger one. Dozing in the mornings does so too. According to this study, how long you sleep affects the severity of your migraines.
Too much coffee causes your head to pound. You’ll need to reduce the number of cups you drink if you have more than four or five of them a day. Discontinuing caffeine decreases the likelihood of migraines.
Note that not drinking coffee suddenly may trigger severe them. Reduce the number of cups you have per day gradually. Also, remember that caffeine isn’t just in coffee; you’ll find it in chocolate and over the counter painkillers.
6. Hormonal changes in women
Migraines have a close connection with female hormones. Some women find theirs starting at puberty. The hormonal trigger is the reason more women than men experience it. Menopause is a stressful time for women who are prone to migraines.
7. The environment
Migraines have environmental triggers as well. High altitude, climate changes, humidity levels, glare, and loud noises all trigger them. Sensitivity to changes in the environment is a sign of an attack.
8. Computer screens/VDUs
Staring at a computer screen for too long can start a migraine. Follow common-sense procedures, such as taking regular breaks, or using anti-glare screens. Sit comfortably when in front of a computer so that your muscles won’t become tense.
About 10% of migraines are food-related. Some people will crave sweets, such as chocolates before one begins. Eating balanced meals is essential. Feasting on snacks can contribute to a migraine attack.
The chemicals and additives in food products may cause migraines. The ones many migraine sufferers typically refer to are monosodium glutamate, nitrates, and aspartame.
11. Alcohol and cheese
There is evidence that red wine may start migraines because it contains tyramine, which is a known trigger. You’ll also find tyramine in cheeses and brie.
12. Mild dehydration
Dehydration may have an impact on how migraines begin. You should drink at least eight glasses of water daily, in addition to your other drinks. Note that fizzy drinks, such as coke zero, have aspartame, which contributes to them.
How to deal with your migraine triggers the natural way
If medication isn’t for you, you can beat your migraines with simple home remedies.
1. Use an ice pack
First of all, put an ice pack on your forehead, neck or scalp to get some relief. Doing this regulates your blood flow and eases your migraines.
Caffeine is not only an essential ingredient in coffee but also provides mild relief for migraines. This research concluded that it’s useful for primary and secondary headaches.
3. A dark room
Bright lights and noise can increase the intensity of your migraines. Find a dark place where you can pull down the shades. They will ease quickly.
Regular workouts, when you don’t have migraines, can reduce them. They cause your body to release endorphins and alleviate stress.
You’ll find magnesium in dark veggies, nuts, and whole grains. According to this study, it works through the central nervous system to provide relief.
6. Get Enough sleep
Regular shuteye will keep migraines at bay. Too little sleep or oversleeping can minimize your pain threshold. A person should sleep for about eight hours a day. Try to get up at the same time daily.
Yes, exercise regulates blood flow and prevents migraines. However, it has the opposite effect for some people. Yoga has slower movements and is a safe alternative.
8. Vitamin B 12
You’ll find this vitamin, also known as Riboflavin, in dairy products, chicken, and cheese. Studies show that it prevents migraine attacks.
In all, that pain in your head doesn’t have to stay. Learn to recognize your migraine triggers in the first place and use natural methods to find some relief.