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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.
Cluster HeadacheCluster headaches are different that typical headaches or migraines in that they begin intensely and last from 5 minutes to an hour. They may come several times during the day, punctuated by painless periods. The cause is unclear, but competing theories trace this type of headache to either a malfunctioning vascular system in the brain, or a malfunctioning neurological symptom in the brain. A variety of drugs is used to treat cluster headaches.
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.
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.
Sinus HeadacheSinus headache is caused by inflammation or infection of the sinuses. Inflammation may be caused by sinus infection, hay fever, allergic rhinitis, or irritation. Treatment may be with OTC pain medication such as ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, Children's Advil, and many others) or aspirin, decongestant medications. If sinus infection is present antibiotic treatment may be necessary.
Tension HeadacheHeadaches are among the most common complaints worldwide. Though headaches are common symptoms of many diseases, tension-type headaches have specific characteristics, such as a tightening feeling on both sides of the head; sensitivity to light or sound; and other hallmarks. Treatment typically includes nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs).
Two 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.
Why Do I Wake Up with a Headache Every Morning? Topic Guide - Medications and Vitamins
Naproxen is a nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). Pseudoephedrine is a decongestant...learn more »