June is National Migraine and Headache Awareness Month, which brings up the relevant question—what’s the difference between the two?

One common misconception is that migraines are just bad headaches, but if you have ever experienced a migraine, you know that’s not true.

This Venn diagram explains their most significant differences:

Headache disorders affect approximately 50% of adults, while 12% of the population suffers from migraines. Migraine is a neurological disease with serious and sometimes debilitating symptoms. Sometimes, people don’t realize just how incapacitating migraines can be.

Here are the facts:

  • Migraines are the sixth most disabling illness in the world
  • More than 90% of people are unable to function normally while they have a migraine
  • Someone in the U.S. goes to the emergency room for head pain every 10 seconds
  • Yearly, 1.2 million hospital visits are for migraine attacks
  • Some people experience an attack once or twice a month, but more than 4 million people have chronic daily migraines and at least 15 migraines per month.


Many different things can trigger a migraine, both physically and environmentally. Similar to other health issues, once you have an understanding of your triggers, you can better mitigate the condition. However, not every migraine can be traced back to a trigger.

Triggers may include:

  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Hormonal changes
  • Bright or flashing lights
  • Loud noises
  • Strong smells
  • Medicines
  • Tobacco
  • Caffeine or lack of caffeine
  • Hunger
  • Too much sleep or not enough sleep
  • Sudden changes in environment or weather
  • Overexertion

Diet can also play a large role in causing migraines. About 10% of patients claim that food is what triggers their head pain.

Food that commonly triggers migraines include:

  • Alcohol
  • Chocolate
  • Aged cheeses
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Certain Fruits and Nuts
  • Fermented or pickled foods
  • Yeast
  • Cured or processed meats

When to visit the ER

Head pain can also be signs of a serious underlying condition like meningitis, encephalitis, stroke, or a concussion. If over-the-counter pain medications are not working, consider seeking professional medical help.

Come see us if you’re experiencing:

  • High fever (greater than 102°)
  • Confusion or trouble understanding
  • Trouble seeing, speaking, or walking
  • Fainting
  • Stiff neck
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Persistent or excruciating pain in your head
  • Numbness or weakness in parts of your body

Wylie ER provides the proper services and medication to alleviate the unbearable effects of migraines. We also offer screenings, lab work, and examinations to diagnose any underlying health issues that may be playing a part. You don’t have to suffer through the pain; Wylie ER is here to help you get your migraines under control. For a full list of services and treatments we offer, visit our website https://wylieer.com/services/.

Disclaimer: As a service to our readers, Wylie ER and Nutex Health state no content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinicians.

Nutex Health, Inc supports you and your family’s health. You can depend on Wylie ER or any of our concierge-level medical facilities to deliver the emergency care you deserve, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.


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