Is It a Tension Headache or a Migraine?

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The differences between tension and migraine headaches aren't absolute, meaning there's overlap. So for instance, migraine headaches, we tend to think of as more severe. But it's not to say that someone with a tension headache can't have a severe headache.

But generally, when we think about a migraine headache, we think about a sudden, severe headache that just comes out of nowhere, pounding, throbbing pain. Might be one side of the head or the other. People with migraine headaches typically have nausea. They might have noise and light sensitivity, meaning they just want to curl up in a dark, quiet room somewhere.

Now tension headache sufferers can have some of these characteristics, but typically it tends to come on bit more slowly, a bit more moderate, can affect the entire head, but not that throbbing kind of pain. Usually no nausea, and typically, they don't have noise and light sensitivity.