Simply and quite unscientifically put, the difference between a migraine and a headache is that the former feels beyond agonizing and a million times worse than the latter. Unfortunately, migraines plague women more than men, due to the hormonal fluctuations that women experience monthly. In fact, many women's migraine episodes are triggered by their periods or by ovulation, like an evil door prize handed out at Aunt Ruby's homecoming.
The difference between migraines and headaches is more than just the severity of the symptoms that accompany a migraine. It's believed that migraines are a central nervous system disorder, whereas a headache is just pain you feel in your head. While migraines also involve head pain, they can also include symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, dizziness, pain behind the eyes, trouble seeing, muscle weakness, and abdominal pain. These symptoms are caused by a brain that is hyperexcitable, which means brain cells are easily irritated and send off unnecessary signals. A headache, on the other hand, doesn't create this type of pattern in the brain.
If you have suffered from one of these miserable episodes, tell your doctor. Once you've experienced a few rounds of migraines, you'll be able to discuss your symptoms with your physician to figure out what's triggering them. Hopefully, this helps lead to the most effective treatment for your situation.