Headaches are a common complaint. Over half of the adult population has experienced at least one headache within the last year. There are several types of headaches. Each of them has its own set of causes and symptoms. Most are transient and rarely pose serious health risks. However, knowing what type of headache you have might help you decide how to cure it and whether you need to consult a doctor.
Below are 7 common types of headaches that you should know to effectively deal with them.
Migraine is a common type of neurological headache. It causes a variety of unpleasant symptoms that include pulsing headache, nausea, vomiting, irritability, loss of appetite, and scalp tenderness. Light or loud sounds usually make migraine headaches worse. Things like stress, smoking, or genetics can increase your risk of migraine headaches.
Over-the-counter pain medications usually help relieve the pain. But for severe pain, you may need stronger medications. If OTC medications cannot relieve your migraine headache, visit a specialist in the best headache center.
2. Tension headaches
A tension headache is probably the most common type of headache. It can cause head pain that ranges from moderate to severe. The pain from tension headaches is usually described as feeling like a tight band around the head. Besides, you may experience muscle tenderness in the head, neck, and shoulder muscles. The treatment for tension headaches is available and usually includes pain relievers and triptans or narcotics for severe pain.
3. Cluster headaches
A cluster headache is one of the most painful types of headache. The symptoms of cluster headaches include excruciating pain, one-sided pain, excessive tearing, eye redness, facial swelling, and drooping eyelid. The symptoms of cluster headaches occur in cyclical patterns of cluster periods. The cause of cluster headaches is unknown, but treatment is available to decrease the severity of symptoms.
Treatment of cluster headaches may include oxygen, triptans, octreotide, dihydroergotamine, and local anesthetics. Your doctor may also recommend you preventative treatment to decrease the frequency of cluster headache attacks.
4. Hypertension headaches
High blood pressure can cause headaches. This usually happens when your blood pressure becomes dangerously high. A hypertension headache usually affects both sides of your head and gets worse with movement. Hypertension headaches can lead to changes in eyesight, numbness or tingling, nosebleeds, chest discomfort, and shortness of breath. If you think you have a hypertension headache, be sure to contact a doctor as soon as possible.
5. Allergy or sinus headaches
Allergy or sinus infections are other common causes of headaches. Sinus headaches are localized over the sinus area (above your nose and between your eyes). The pain from sinus headaches usually gets worse with movement, like bending over or lying down. Treating the underlying cause helps cure sinus headaches. If you experience severe pain, your doctor may prescribe pain medications to relieve pain while treating the root cause.
6. Hormone headaches
Hormone headaches are more prevalent in women due to fluctuating hormone levels. Menstruation is a major contributing factor to hormone-related headaches. Besides, hormone levels may fluctuate during pregnancy and menopause. Using oral contraceptives may also lead to hormone headaches. Hormone headache symptoms include loss of appetite, fatigue, decreased urination, poor coordination, and craving for certain foods (chocolate, alcohol, salt).
The treatment of hormone headaches includes pain relievers, beta-blockers, and antidepressants. Hormone replacement therapy may also be used to treat hormone headaches.
7. Caffeine headaches
For some people, caffeine may become a rescue from headaches. But for others, caffeine may trigger head pain. When you regularly consume caffeine, the body develops a dependence on its effects. Caffeine also constricts the blood vessels surrounding your brain. When the levels of caffeine in your body decrease, the blood vessels widen, increasing the blood flow around the brain and pressures on the nerves. This can trigger caffeine withdrawal headaches.
Withdrawal headaches can linger for several weeks because the body needs time to adjust to not having caffeine in its system.