Headaches are the worst and can be difficult to describe. However, some of the common symptoms include squeezing, throbbing, unrelenting, constant, or intermittent. The headache location can be generalized involving your enti
re head or might be in just one part of the skull or face. The head is the most common site of pain.
Sure, there are ways to treat headaches, but how can you do that without knowing the type of headache you are dealing with and its origin. Well, that’s what we are here for.
In this article, you are going to learn about different types of headaches.
- Tension headaches
- Migraine headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Hormone headaches
- Sinus or allergy headaches
- Exertion headache
- Caffeine headaches
- Rebound headaches
- Hypertension headaches
- Post-traumatic headaches
According to a WHO report, everyone experiences a headache once in a while. Usually, headaches are defined as pain in any region of the head but the intensity, cause, and duration of the pain vary. While the headaches can be debilitating and painful, most of them can be treated with painkillers and go away after a few hours. Nevertheless, certain types of headaches or repeated attacks might require immediate medical attention. It can be a sign of something serious.
So, without wasting time, let’s dive in to find out more about headaches.
Types of Headaches
There are two types of headaches, primary and secondary. Let’s dig a little deeper into each type.
A primary headache isn’t caused by another condition. So, these headaches are a condition in itself. Here are the types of primary headaches you can experience.
Migraine pain is an intense throbbing and pulsing from deep within the head. It can last for days. With a migraine, it is just impossible to keep up with your daily routine.
When you get migraine pain, you might experience heightened sensitivity to sound, light, and smell. Vomiting and nausea can also occur.
Some people experience an aura before the onset of migraine pain. The visual or sensual disturbances last for 5-60 minutes. During this time, you can see:
- Shimmering lights
- Flashing lights
- Zigzag lines
- Blind spots
Auras include trouble speaking and tingling in one arm or one side of the face. Nevertheless, these symptoms can also indicate meningitis or stroke. So, if these symptoms are new to you, make sure you seek medical attention.
Migraines are usually recurrent and each attack might last for up to 3 days. For some people, it is a life-long condition. Chances are it runs into your family. Women are more likely to develop this condition than men.
At times, environmental factors like dehydration, sleep disruption, hormone fluctuations, and skipped meals can trigger a migraine attack.
So, if you are experiencing headaches that are excruciating more than 3 days a month, talk to your doctor for preventive treatment.
Are you experiencing recurrent and severe headaches? You might have developed a cluster headache. It is described as a piercing pain or intense burning around or behind one eye.
The symptoms of cluster headaches include:
- Swollen eyelid
- Watering eye
- Agitation and restlessness
- Sensitivity to sound and light
- A runny or blocked nose
Cluster headaches are generally sudden. It develops without warning and might last for 15 minutes to 3 hours. People suffering from it might experience up to 8 attacks in a day.
The cause of cluster headache is still unknown. However, experts have to say it might have some genetic component. Triggers of this type of headache include:
- High altitude
- Certain foods
Cluster headaches don’t have any cure, but medications are known to reduce the duration, and frequency of attacks.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. A majority of the people experience them on an occasional basis. It is like a dull, constant pain on both sides of your head. However, it also comes with other symptoms such as:
- Shoulders, face, and neck pain
- Sensitivity to light and sound
- A feeling of pressure behind your eyes
The headaches can last for 30 minutes to several days. Nevertheless, the severity might vary. This kind of headache hardly hinders normal activities. The cause of tension is pretty unclear but depression, stress, and anxiety are common triggers of tension headaches. Other triggers include:
- Loud noise
- Poor sleep
- Lack of exercise
Anyone can experience a tension headache. Lifestyle changes can prevent these headaches. So, you should:
- Exercise and stretch regularly
- Get enough sleep
- Have your eye tested
- Improve standing and sitting posture
- Manage depression, stress, and anxiety
Exertion headaches are induced by strenuous physical activities. So, it is triggered by:
- Sexual intercourse
- Weight lifting
- Bouts of sneezing or coughing
Generally, these headaches are short-lived. However, at times, it might last for up to 2 days. It starts as a throbbing pain that is felt throughout the head and is common in people having a family history of migraines.
A secondary headache develops as a result of something else like a headache from sudden caffeine withdrawal or head injury.
Sinusitis leads to sinus pain. It is a condition where sinuses swell up due to an allergy or infection. The symptoms of sinus headaches are throbbing pain around the eyes, forehead, and cheeks. With straining or movement, the pain might worsen and spread to the jaw and teeth.
The headache is accompanied by a yellow or thick green nasal discharge. However, there are other symptoms, such as:
- Blocked nose
- Sound and light sensitivity
To diagnose sinusitis, a doctor might refer you to an ENT specialist.
Women often experience headaches that are linked to hormonal fluctuations. Birth control pills, menstruation, and pregnancy can affect the estrogen level. This can lead to a headache. The headaches caused by the menstrual cycle are known as menstrual migraines. It occurs right before or after menses or during ovulation.
The treatment for menstrual headaches is the same as the treatment for migraines. Nevertheless, you can adopt preventive measures such as:
- Hormonal therapy
- Alternative oral contraception plans
- Hormonal replacement therapy
About 60% of women having migraines also experience menstrual migraines.
High blood pressure might lead to a headache. It is a sign of an emergency. The headache might occur when you have dangerously high blood pressure.
Generally, hypertension headache occurs on both sides of the head and worsens with any activity. Often, it has a pulsating quality. You might also experience a tingling or numbness, change in vision, chest pain, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds.
In case you feel you are experiencing a hypertension headache, call for a doctor immediately. People treating high blood pressure are more likely to develop this headache.
Caffeine can affect the blood flow in your brain. Consuming more than 400 milligrams or about 4 cups of coffee can lead to a headache.
If you are consuming more than 200mg of caffeine daily for more than 2 weeks, withdrawals lead to headaches. You can develop this headache 24 hours after you stop consuming caffeine.
The other symptoms of these headaches are:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Irritability and poor mood
Often, symptoms are relieved within an hour of caffeine intake and disappear completely within 7 days of withdrawal. The caffeine effect varies from one person to the other. But reducing its intake will reduce the risk of headaches.
It is also called medication overuse headaches. Rebound headaches are the most common type of secondary headache. It can be daily or frequent. The symptoms are similar to those of migraines and tension headaches.
You tend to be susceptible to this kind of headache if you use OTC pain relievers frequently. Overuse of these will lead to more headaches. The best treatment for rebound medication is to wean yourself off these medications. Even though pain worsens at first, it will subside within a few days.
Suffered a head injury? This can lead to post-traumatic headaches. It feels like tension-type or migraine headaches. The headaches might last up to 6-12 months after the injury occurs. Hence, they can become chronic.
At times, these headaches might develop soon after. Anyone experiencing worsening or persistent headaches needs to see a doctor.
Final Words – Punch Today in the Face!!!
You can treat headaches at home. However, severe and secondary headaches should be evaluated by professionals. Get maximum rest and stay hydrated. Massage therapy can also relieve you of stress and headaches. Remedial massage can keep you healthier for longer.