Symptoms Of Tension Headaches & Migraines

A tension headache is usually described as a tight band around the head, as if one's head were in a vise.  The pain is generally felt on both sides of the head and oftentimes on the forehead, the base of the skull along with stiff trapezius muscles.  The sensation is of mild to moderate intensity and is continuous.  It does not throb or pulsate.  A tension headache will not present with nausea or vomiting unless of course there is a pre-existing underlining illness such as morning sickness.  The headache may worsen with exposure to light or noise.

A migraine presents with throbbing pain on one or both sides of your head. Migraines are vascular in origin and can cause severe pain with accompanying symptoms of nausea, vomiting, inability to focus and sensitivity to light.   Another feature of a migraines, they are made worse with physical exertion.  75% of people with migraine also have neck pain; statistic from Mount Sinai Medical Centre New York.  Tension can trigger a migraine and this could explain how it is easy for a doctor to mistake a migraine for the typical tension headache.

 94% of those who go to a doctor because of a headache actually have a migraine.  Only 50% of those with a migraine are actually diagnosed as having a migraine. About 15 to 20% of people who have a migraine get an aura.  An aura is an ocular disturbance.  Some people who experience them will describe an aura as seeing flashing or shimmering lights with or without zigzagging lines like shooting stars. Some report a blind spot in their field of vision while others describe psychedelic imagery.  Migraines with an aura can cause tunnel vision and even short term vision loss.  It is possible to experience visual disturbances of an aura without a headache.