Know Your Headache Migraine, Tension Or Cluster?
Your Family|June 2020
It’s common for people to refer to any splitting headache as a migraine, but this might not always be the case
Caitlin Geng

It’s worth knowing whether what you’re experiencing is really a migraine, or whether it could be a tension or cluster headache, which are commonly mistaken for each other, but have different causes and treatments.

MIGRAINES

Migraines can result in a pulsing sensation or severe throbbing pain, and often occur only on one side of the head. The pain can be debilitating and impact your work and daily life, and is often accompanied by sensitivity to sound and light, nausea and vomiting. Migraines occur more or less often from person to person, and can happen many times a month or very rarely. Some people receive a warning they’re about to suffer a migraine due to something known as an aura, which occurs just before the headache sets in. Auras can include tingling on the face, arms or legs, difficulty speaking, or visual disturbances like flashes of light.

SYMPTOMS

Migraines usually begin either during childhood, adolescence, or early adulthood, and often progress in four stages: prodrome, aura, attack, and post-drome.

The prodrome stage usually occurs a day or two before the migraine, and can include subtle warning signs of the impending headache, such as:

Excessive yawning

Unexplained mood swings, from feeling down or depressed to feelings of euphoria Stiffness in the neck

Constipation

Increased urination and thirst

Unusual food cravings

The aura stage is experienced by some migraine sufferers, and can last for several minutes.

Examples of aura symptoms include

Loss of vision

Difficulty speaking

Seeing flashes of light, shapes or bright spots

Tingling and pins and needles in the body or face

Hearing music or noises that aren’t there

Jerking or movements that are uncontrolled

The attack stage is the painful migraine itself, which can last between four and 72 hours. The attack stage may include

Severe pain on one or both sides of the head

A throbbing and pulsing sensation

Vomiting and/or nausea

Sensitivity to noise, light, and sometimes touch and odour

The post-drome stage occurs after the migraine has subsided, and may leave you feeling confused and lethargic for up to a day following the attack. Turning or moving your head suddenly during this phase may prompt brief sparks of pain.

CAUSES

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine

MORE STORIES FROM YOUR FAMILYView All

Beat The Disease To Please

Is saying ‘yes’ is a habit that’s leaving your own needs constantly overlooked, as you put everyone else’s needs before yours? How can you break the cycle of people- pleasing and put yourself first?

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Quaran-Teens Help Them Manage Their Mental Health

Teens climbing the walls during covid-19? Restlessness isn’t the only thing to be concerned about, writes daniella renzon, community service clinical psychologist

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Know Your Headache Migraine, Tension Or Cluster?

It’s common for people to refer to any splitting headache as a migraine, but this might not always be the case

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Going Through A Friendship Crisis?

Is your waning social life affecting your marriage?

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Life Post-Lockdown

Pandemic panic, brain fog and ocd… as you get back to life un-usual, psychologist marise swart shares some advice on some common issues that may affect your mental health

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

How To... Make Gluten-Free Flours

Prepare these gluten-free flours to replace cake flour or self-raising flour in your favourite recipes!

2 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Cosmetic Treatments: Everything You Need To Know

Considering a cosmetic procedure, but aren’t sure what to expect? Cape town based general and aesthetic practitioner dr jan nel offers his valuable insights

7 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

LOVING LOCAL

LOCAL FASHION BRANDS ARE HELPING US BECOME MORE CONSCIOUS SHOPPERS IN THIS EVER-CHANGING WORLD, WITH THEIR BEAUTIFULLY CRAFTED ECO-FRIENDLY WARDROBE PIECES

5 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Listen Up

EVER NOTICE HOW YOUR CHILD’S BIONIC EARS PICK UP EVERY WORD OF YOUR PRIVATE CONVERSATIONS, YET COMPLETELY TUNE OUT WHEN YOU REALLY NEED THEM TO LISTEN? OUR EXPERTS OFFER SOME CONSTRUCTIVE ADVICE ON HOW TO MAKE YOURSELF HEARD

4 mins read
Your Family
June 2020

Blood couldn't make us any closer'

THE TITLE OF ‘DAD’ DOESN’T ONLY BELONG TO SOMEONE YOU SHARE DNA WITH. THESE MEN HAVE FILLED THE FATHER FIGURE ROLE AND RAISED THEIR CHILDREN AS THEIR OWN

8 mins read
Your Family
June 2020
RELATED STORIES

An Anti-Migraine Diet

What you eat-and don't eat-can help stave off debilitating headaches

5 mins read
Reader's Digest US
June 2022

5 Myths About Headaches

The confusion on this topic is enough to make your head spin. Let's clear it up.

4 mins read
Prevention
June 2022

What's New with Omega-3s

A string of recent studies adds more evidence supporting the benefits of omega-3 fats EPA and DHA. Found in fish and fish oil supplements, these two omega-3s are also in vegan supplements made from algal oil.

2 mins read
Better Nutrition
September 2021

MYTHS AND TRUTHS OF Nightshades

Public perception about nightshades is often negative but there are many benefits to these fruits and vegetables. The majority of the negative effects only occur to a small population of people. The benefits of this group of vegetables outweigh the negative effect only a small group have.

4 mins read
Natural Solutions
June 2021

Head First: All About Concussions

Women are concussing at higher rates than men, but these female athletes receive almost no attention compared to their male peers. What’s going on, and what should you know about concussions as an active woman?

5 mins read
Oxygen
May 2016

Model Hailey Bieber says taking birth control pills contributed to stroke

Model Hailey Bieber, who had a mini stroke last month, has opened up about her health issues.

1 min read
The Straits Times
April 30, 2022

IF MY BRAIN CAN'T FEEL PAIN, WHY DO WE GET HEADACHES?

We tend to experience pain when unpleasant stimuli activate sensory nerve fibres called nociceptors.

1 min read
BBC Science Focus
April 2022

Journeys through MENOPAUSE

Three women share their own experiences and challenges

6 mins read
WOMAN'S WEEKLY
March 08, 2022

12 natural helps for HEADACHES

Ease your pain without popping a pill with these cures for a tension headache

4 mins read
WOMAN'S WEEKLY
March 08, 2022

Madly Or Deeply In Love?

Feel the power of love.

9 mins read
Woman's Era
October 2021