Dealing with a headache is something that most of us have experience of, but sometimes if you don’t know the type of headache you are experiencing, it is tricky to find the right course of treatment. Some of the most common headaches are tension, headaches, and migraines, but many people get the two confused. Your local pharmacy will always be happy to offer advice, but it can be useful to know the signs for yourself too. Let’s take a closer look at how to identify the type of headache you have and how to treat it!

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are among the most common types of headaches, with 90% of all headaches falling into this particular type. It is estimated that 78% of American adults will suffer from a tension headache at least once in their lifetime. For some people, these headaches will manifest every once in a while and subside after an hour or two. However, for some unlucky sufferers, they can be more frequent and last for a whole day. Tension headaches are typically treated by over the counter medications from your local pharmacy. Suppose you are experiencing chronic tension headaches, and the medication available over the counter at your local pharmacy is not working. In that case, you may need to visit your doctor, who may prescribe anti-depressants as these can have a preventative effect.

The symptoms of a typical tension headache include:

  • Pain on both sides of the head
  • A feeling of tight pressure as though your head is in a Vice
  • Pain in the temples and soreness in the neck and shoulder muscles
  • Pain is not considered severe

Migraine Headaches

Migraines are a little less common than tension headaches, with around 15% of American adults being affected. Typically a migraine is far more debilitating and can last from 4 to 72 hours. The length, pain-location, and symptoms are much different from those associated with a tension headache. It may be possible to treat migraines with over the counter medication from your local pharmacy, but only if you catch it early. Otherwise, you may need something more substantial prescribed by a doctor. If you have more than four migraines per month, then they are considered chronic, and you may be offered preventative medication.

The typical symptoms of migraine include:

  • Moderate to Severe throbbing pain that is usually located on one side of the head
  • The pain worsens with physical activity – most sufferers need to lie down
  • Pain is centered on the eyes and temples
  • Migraine is often accompanied by sensitivity to light, sound, and smells
  • You may feel nauseous
  • 1 in 5 people also have visual disturbance like flashing lights or wavy lines
  • Some sufferers say their arm or face tingles at the onset of a migraine


Your Hometown Pharmacy Since 1966

Vaughn Pharmacy is a local, family-owned pharmacy serving the community in Powell, TN. Specializing in providing personalized and attentive prescription programs to our patients, we believe you are more than just a number – you’re part of our family!

(865) 947-1581