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Migraines and Other Headaches

When Headaches Are Not MigrainesTension Headaches, Less Serious Headaches

People who have frequent headaches often have more than one type of headache. Sometimes one kind of headache merges into another.

Last Halloween, Lisa had a tension headache. She remembers it well because it felt as if she was carrying a twenty-five pound pumpkin on her head. By the next day, the pain had moved to her eye socket and began to throb. The nurse at school said that Lisa's headache was probably a migraine. On Christmas Day, Lisa got another migraine that hurt more than any headache she had ever had. That one turned into a chronic daily headache, which didn't go away completely until school started in January.

Like Lisa, some people have a combination of migraine and tension headaches. They find it hard to figure out where one headache ends and the other begins.

Cedric thinks that the stress connected with this year's Homecoming Dance may have contributed to the stabbing head pain that hit him in the middle of the dance. Luckily, he made it to the men's room in time to throw up. He had drunk two cups of coffee at the pre-dinner party and two more during dinner. Cedric had already identified caffeine as one of his headache triggers. Why did he do this to himself?

He felt fine the next day, but every day for the next week he had a dull headache. It seemed to get worse during his fourth-period math class. On a scale of 1 to 10, Cedric gave his migraine a 10. He gave his tension headache a 5 or a 6.

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Medicine EncyclopediaMigraines and Other Headaches