Health Watch — Pain in the Head: Headache or Migraine?

Health Watch is a Public Service of the Office of News and Publications  and is intended to provide general information only and should not replace the advice of a medical professional. You should contact your physician if you have questions about any of these topics.

This week on Health Watch, we’re talking about pain that affects the head. The most obvious kind of pain in the head is a headache. But when is a headache more than just a headache?

Dr. Dion Graybeal, a neurologist at UT Southwestern Medical Center, says if you’re regularly having headaches more than two or three times a week or if your headaches disable you three times a month, your recurring headaches are probably migraine rather than tension or sinus headaches. Migraine is the most common neurological disorder. It causes intense pain on one side of the head that gets worse with movement and that causes sensitivity to light or sound. Attacks can last a few hours up to several days. There isn’t a cure for migraine, but there are prescription medications that will reduce the frequency and duration of attacks. Doctors believe most migraine sufferers haven’t been properly diagnosed, so if these symptoms sound familiar, talk to your doctor.



February 2007

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