Different Types of Headaches

by Editorial Board on February 18, 2013 · 0 comments

in Disabling Conditions,Headaches

Headaches aren’t any fun. They range in severity from mildly annoying to absolutely debilitating. In order to understand the causes and treatments for your headache, you need to learn about the different types of headaches.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common form of headache, and are often referred to as chronic daily headaches. It’s an aching pain or pressure around the head, often centered on the back of the head or the temples.

They are caused by neck and scalp muscles contracting, usually in response to stress, and come and go over time. Over-the-counter medications, such as aspirin, can help ease the symptoms.
Migraines

Migraines are a mysterious beast. It is not actually known what causes them, but researchers believe that certain events or factors trigger abnormal brain activity, resulting in the blood vessels in the brain enlarging. There is genetic evidence that migraines might be inherited, and they’re also associated with certain brain abnormalities.

Pain from migraines is moderate to severe, and may last for between 4-72 hours, and occurs 1-4 times per month. The feeling is of a pounding, throbbing pain, and is often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and abdominal pain.

Migraines can be treated with lifestyle changes, such as sleeping better, using ice packs and changing your diet, with over-the-counter medication, or prescription medications.
Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are described as “burning” or “piercing”, and they are usually the most severe type of headache. The pain is so intense that most sufferers will not be able to sit still during a cluster headache, and will pace about the room.

The pain occurs behind one eye or in the eye region on one side the head, and will appear regularly, 1-3 times a day for a period of 2 weeks-3 months. Cluster headaches are sometimes accompanied by watery eyes and nasal congestion. The cluster headaches may go into remission for a number of months or years.

The causes of cluster headaches are unknown, although research suggest they are genetic, and there is no cure. Medication can help reduce their frequency and intensity.
Sinus Headaches

Infections and other factors cause the sinuses to become infected, they become inflamed, and this leads to sinus headaches. Sufferers usually experience fever and runny or congested nose. A sinus infection can be treated with antibiotics, and antihistamines or decongestants can also help to clear things up.

Which type of headache do you have?

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