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How are migraines different than headaches?

On Behalf of | Jun 20, 2023 | Social Security Disability (SSD)

You can get a headache for numerous reasons, from being exposed to loud noises for a prolonged period of time to becoming dehydrated. It’s usually just considered a minor annoyance. You might take over-the-counter medication to help with it.

A migraine, on the other hand, is considered to be much more serious. In fact, some people who suffer from migraines are no longer able to work and will qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. But that’s just one of the differences between migraines and headaches. It’s clear how they are similar, but what sets one apart from the other?

Debilitating pain

The biggest thing is the level of pain that the person feels. A headache is certainly annoying and frustrating, and it does hurt. But migraines are often described with words like “pounding pain” and they are said to be debilitating. The pain is just much more extreme, to the point that the person may have other symptoms to go along with it, such as:

  1. Nausea and vomiting
  2. Sensitivity to light
  3. Pulsating pain
  4. Chronic symptoms
  5. Pain on just one side of the head

When a migraine sets in, it can be so intense that it’s disabling, and a person can barely even get out of bed. They may need to stay in a dark room, where things are quiet and there are no lights while they wait for the migraine to subside. This isn’t something that they can fix by working on their hydration or taking Tylenol. It’s a serious medical condition that happens consistently and that may mean they can not reliably re-enter the workforce.

Someone who is in a position like this needs to know exactly what steps they can take to seek the benefits that they deserve.