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5 Types of HeadachesThere are five main types of headaches including migraines, cluster headaches, tension headaches, sinus headaches, and mixed headaches. Knowing what kind of headache you have is the first step in identifying how to get rid of a headache. There are several treatments for headaches depending on the type of headache you have and your headache triggers. The worst headache of your life could signal a medical emergency and you should seek immediate evaluation.
Mild HeadacheMild headaches and tension headaches are common but usually do not represent a serious illness. They result from irritation or injury to pain-sensing structures of the head. Symptoms of mild headache pain include aching, squeezing, or bandlike pain, on both sides of the head, generally above the level of the eyebrows. Treatment includes a variety of self-care measures and over-the-counter medications.
Headache vs. Migraine: How To Tell the DifferenceMigraine is one of over 150 types of headaches. Other common types of headaches include tension, cluster, sinus, and hormonal. Pain is the most common symptom of all headaches, and the severity of the pain depends upon the type of headache. Migraine pain is severe, pulsating, and is located only on one side of the head. Other symptoms and signs of a migraine headache are eye pain, sensitivity to light, sounds, or smells, nausea, and vomiting. Migraine is more common in women, and may increase in frequency and severity during menopause.Signs and symptoms of other common types of headaches. Tension headaches: The pain of a tension headache starts at the back of the head and upper neck. The pain is described as a band-like tightness or pressure on both sides of the head that may spread over the entire head. The pain and pressure is felt over the eyebrows, is sporadic, and usually varies in intensity. Tension headaches are not disabling. Cluster headaches come in groups or clusters that are separated by pain free periods of months to years. The episodes of pain last from 30 to 90 minutes, occur around the same time of day, and the pain is excruciating around or behind one eye. Men have cluster headaches more often than women. Sinus headaches are caused by bacteria or viral infection of the sinuses. The infection causes inflammation of the sinuses, which results in pain. The pain and pressure from a sinus headache is felt around the area of the sinuses. Other symptoms are facial tenderness and swelling, nasal congestion, stuffy nose, earache, and jaw pain. Sinus headaches usually are caused by sinusitis or a sinus infection. Hormonal headaches are caused by hormonal fluctuations in the body and can be caused by hormonal birth control, menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause, and menopause. The pain and symptoms depend upon the cause of the headache. There is no specific test to diagnose migraines. Treatment for a migraine and other types of headaches depend upon the type.REFERENCES: Blanda, M, MD. "Cluster Headache." Medscape. Updated: Apr 26, 2017. Brook I, MD. "Acute Sinuitis." Medscape. Updated: Jan 05, 2017. Chawala JC, MD. "Migraine Headache." Medscape. Updated: May 10, 2017.
Migraine and Cluster Headache MedicationsMigraines and cluster headaches are severe recurrent headaches. Medications to treat them fall under a number of different categories. These include triptans and ergot alkaloids for abortive therapy. For preventative therapy, a number of different drug classes are available, including beta blockers, predisone, antidepressants, lithium, antiseizure medications and others.
Causes and Treatments of Migraine HeadachesTwo general types of headaches exist: primary (like migraines and cluster headaches) and secondary (headaches caused by a structural problem, trauma, or infection) Triggers include stress, lack of sleep, not enough food or fluids, and many other causes. A variety of medications all working through a variety of different mechanisms are used to treat migraines.
Migraine HeadacheMigraine headaches are one of the most common problems seen by doctors, Urgent Care Centers, and Emergency Departments. While the exact cause of this type of headache is not clearly understood, researchers and doctors believe they are due to changes in the brain and surrounding blood vessels.Triggers for migraine headache are certain foods (chocolate, cheese, alcohol, msg, etc.), stress, birth control pills, and smoking.Signs and symptoms of a migraine include a variety of warning signs (referred to as “prodome”), for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed, migraine aura, headache pain, and migraine pain that resolves. Other migraine symptoms, for example, problems eating, concentrating, and fatigue may linger after the pain is gone.
Migraine headaches are one of the most common problems seen by doctors, Urgent Care Centers, and Emergency Departments. While the exact cause of this type of headache is not clearly understood, researchers and doctors believe they are due to changes in the brain and surrounding blood vessels.
Triggers for migraine headache are certain foods (chocolate, cheese, alcohol, msg, etc.), stress, birth control pills, and smoking.
Signs and symptoms of a migraine include a variety of warning signs (referred to as “prodome”), for example, feeling "high," irritable, or depressed, migraine aura, headache pain, and migraine pain that resolves. Other migraine symptoms, for example, problems eating, concentrating, and fatigue may linger after the pain is gone.
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