Types Of Headaches

Types of Headaches: Which One is Bothering You?


There are a number of different types of headaches that a person can suffer from. Most of these will affect a certain area of the head or may produce additional symptoms other than head pain. By discovering what type of headache you are suffering from you can better understand what causes or triggers your headaches.


Tension Headaches


These types of headaches are the most common and can be set off by a number of factors. The typical tension headache can cause pain in multiple areas of the head—particularly the temples, forehead, and the back of the head. Many tension headache sufferers describe a tension headache as feeling like their head is in a vice or like there is something exerting immense pressure on certain parts of the head. It is not uncommon for the pain of a tension headache to extend down through one’s neck and even to the uppermost part of the shoulder area. Tension headaches are linked to muscle contraction in the head and neck which can last for hours or even days. They are often chronic and vary a lot in intensity. Some can bring on disruptive pain that makes you want to shut yourself in a dark room and take a nap, while other tension headaches can be very mild and only serve as an annoyance. It is less likely for a tension headache to pose an obstacle to your everyday life, however.


This type of headache can be caused by many things, such as stress, anxiety, or depression. In circumstances where the sufferer has anxiety or depression, the headache is often a physical symptom that is triggered by these psychological issues. Either of these conditions can also produce symptoms like nausea, constipation, dizziness, weight loss or gain, poor concentration, feelings of hopelessness or inadequacy, and mood swings/emotional outbursts.


Migraine Headaches


These types of headaches are notorious for being big and bad—and there’s good reason why! Migraine headaches are not completely understood in the medical world. Some studies have shown that migraines can be caused by abnormalities in a person’s brain while others have shown that it could be a condition that one inherits from their parents or grandparents. However there are still plenty of migraine sufferers who have no known abnormalities or a family history of migraine headaches.


Migraine headaches typically last from four hours to three days and are very intense in nature. In order to be classed as a migraine, the sufferer must have experienced this type of headache at least five times in the past. Migraines generally affect one side of the head, although it is possible for the headache to seemingly spread to encompass a larger area of the head. This type of headache is almost always associated with sensitivity to light and/or sound and can cause nausea. Stomach upset and vomiting may also occur. Migraines are one of the only types of headaches that are routinely severe enough to prohibit one from carrying out their everyday activities.


Sinus Headaches


Headaches can also be caused by sinus infections. Sinus headaches are typically located in the forehead and the pain seems to encompass the eyes, nose, and the cheeks. The pain is often described as being dull and persistent. If a sinus infection is indeed present, a few of the other symptoms that will likely be present include a runny nose, the feeling of clogged or full ears, a tenderness and/or swelling in the face along the cheeks and nose. The best way to seek relief from a sinus infection is to see the doctor to obtain a formal diagnosis and a prescription for an antibiotic. Sinus headaches should begin to subside with two or three days of starting the antibiotic medication.


Cluster Headaches


Cluster headaches are one of the few headaches that statistically affect men more often than women. This is a type of headache that occurs in cycles with a strong and fast onset characterized by extreme pain that affects either the right or the left size of the head. This pain is incapacitating and is usually accompanied by a runny or stuffy nose on the same side that the headache is on. Watery eyes may also occur. Cluster headaches make it very hard to find comfort which is why most people can’t even lay down for a nap to escape a cluster headache. Restlessness is another common side effect of this type of headache. Unfortunately there is little known about the actual cause behind cluster headaches but it is thought that this condition could be linked a genetic cause. If you have a grandparent or parent who suffers from this condition then your chances of suffering from cluster headaches is likely to be higher than someone with no family history of this.


Pre-Menstrual Syndrome Headaches


Pre-menstrual syndrome, or PMS, headaches are caused by hormone fluctuations. These types of headaches can affect any area of the head but it is usually recognized by the other symptoms of PMS that usually accompany the headache. For instance, many women experience joint pain, pimple outbreaks, constipation, and general loss of energy in addition to a headache shortly before menstruating.