Migraine. There's perhaps no medical terminology as abused as this one by the uninitiated, save for the "Malarias," and the "Typhoids."
Migraine has come to mean different things to different people. For some it is any headache that is "severe" and perhaps incapacitating. To others, it is any headache that recurs habitually.
With this lose definition of the term Migraine, riding on ignorance, fact is that many headache syndromes labelled as "migraine" by the uninitiated are not actually migraines. While some of them may be the various forms of Secondary Headache [headaches associated with other illness, like Malaria, Hypertension, etc], most of them are Primary Headaches [headaches which are disease entities on their own], a class of headaches into which migraine falls.
In this article, we will be looking at the different types of primary headaches, including those often mistaken by the uninitiated as "migraines," and the typical migraine headaches proper.
HEADACHES: PRIMARY VS SECONDARY
Headaches are broadly classified into Primary and Secondary forms.
While Primary headaches are headache syndromes which are disease entities of their own, with no known systemic causes, Secondary headaches are those that arise due to a readily identifiable systemic, or local cause.
Example of causes of Secondary Headaches include;
- Brain tumor
- Brain bleed.
- And a lot of other possible causes.
PRIMARY HEADACHES, AND MIGRAINES
Primary headaches, as hinted above, are headache syndromes of their own, with no known systemic, or readily identifiable local cause.
They are usually responsible for moderate, to severe, nagging headaches that keeps on recurring, and is what most people have when they make statements like "headache is MY USUAL sickness," or " I'm having migraines."
Headache syndromes that fall into this category include;
- Migraine Headaches
- Cluster Headaches
- Tension Type Headaches
Migraine is more than just headaches; it is a complex neurological disorder characterized, in most cases, by a prodrome and an aura, which culminates in a moderate to severe headache with characteristic features.
Migraines are commoner in adolescents, and young adults, especially females. And as a rule of the thumb, any headache that started after age 40 to 50 is UNLIKELY a migraine headache.
It is important to note that what makes a headache a Migraine headache, or not, is not the severity of the headache, but its UNIQUE characteristics.
Prevention, And Treatment
Rest. Exercise. Good eating habit. May all help prevent this type of headcache.
Treatment is usually with the over-the-counter analgesics.