Understanding the Difference Between Headache and Migraine

Jersey City medical professional Dr. John Fritz currently runs a family practice, having previously spent 12 years as a clinical assistant professor at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey. Dr. John Fritz provides an array of services at his Jersey City practice, including various migraine treatments and therapies.

In common conversation, the terms headache and migraine can be used almost interchangeably. In the medical profession, however, the two conditions are vastly different in regard to their respective symptoms as well as origins. Almost every individual experiences a headache at some point in their life, as the causes are virtually endless. Too much caffeine, not enough water, and lack of sleep are just a few of the common causes of a normal headache. A headache can be painful, but in most cases the pain is bearable and can be lessened, if not altogether dissipated, by over-the-counter medication.

A migraine, meanwhile, is a specific condition resulting from blood vessels that constrict and dilate. This creates intense and painful pulsations throughout a person’s head. The symptoms of a migraine go well beyond those of a headache and can include vomiting, blurred vision, light sensitivity, dizziness, and even fever. While a migraine can occur as a one-time event, some people suffer from recurrent migraines. In this case, a person must contact their primary care physician in order to determine how to prevent future migraines and how to mitigate the pain and other symptoms of a migraine.