Migraines are usually one-sided (one-sided). The pain is described as throbbing or throbbing and worsens with routine physical activity, such as climbing a flight of stairs. Pain is usually moderate to severe. A migraine headache can last from several hours to 3 days.
Pain associated with sinus headaches is usually located around or behind the eyes, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose, along the forehead or along the upper teeth. Pain is often described as a feeling similar to pressure and is constant. Leaning forward or on your stomach, doing sudden activity, or exercising can make pain worse. Tension headaches are a feeling of pressure or tension, often described as “vice” in quality.
The pain is usually mild to moderate, but can become severe. Cluster headache is another very different type of headache. Pain is always one-sided during cluster attack. However, the affected side can vary from headache to headache.
This type of headache has characteristics of both migraine headache and headache. Cluster headaches can be triggered by alcohol or by. Sinus headaches are triggered by a sinus infection. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache.
You may experience a dull, oppressive pain on both sides of your head, almost as if your head is in a vise. Over-the-counter pain relievers such as Tylenol (acetaminophen), Advil, or Motrin (ibuprofen) or Aleve (naproxen) usually work well for tension headaches and accompanying neck stiffness. If tension headaches persist, your healthcare provider may recommend a prescription pain reliever such as Naprosyn (naproxen), which is stronger than Aleve. Sometimes, for chronic tension headaches, doctors will recommend an antidepressant (usually a tricyclic antidepressant such as Elavil (amitriptyline) to prevent tension headaches.
These painful headaches can feel like the bane of your existence. Located in the front of the head, often caused by inflammation of the sinuses or allergies, sinus headaches can feel like pressure behind the eyes. They can also accompany a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis. You may be surprised to learn that a migraine can be mistaken for a sinus headache.
Sinus headaches can be treated with decongestants to reduce nasal congestion, but be sure to check with your doctor or pharmacist first, as they may interact with other medications you are taking. You can also apply a warm compress to painful areas of the face or use a saline nasal spray for sinus headaches. Migraine is often diagnosed and poorly treated. Migraine headaches are not the same for everyone, and symptoms may vary from person to person.
Characterized by a pulsating or throbbing pain on one side of the head, migraines may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. The American Migraine Foundation says that between 25 and 30% of people experience a migraine aura, where they see sparks or bright spots or experience tingling on one side of their body. The Migraine Research Foundation estimates that migraines affect 39 million men, women and children in the United States and 1 billion worldwide. Despite the high prevalence of migraine, many people with migraine are not treated.
A recent study found that 1 in 5 people didn't know they could get preventive relief from migraine. Others didn't know that migraines can often be triggered by factors such as hormones (especially during menstrual cycles and menopause), an irregular sleep schedule, dehydration, certain foods, alcohol, and caffeine. If you suspect that you have migraine, your doctor will take your medical history and perform a physical and possibly neurological examination. They will ask you how often you have symptoms, if you have a family history of migraines, and they will ask you about your “headache burden,” or how many days a month you experience migraines and the impact they have on your life (if you are forced to miss work and other events).
If over-the-counter treatments haven't worked and you experience severe pain from your headaches, there are acute and preventive prescription medications that can improve your quality of life. Acute prescription medicines used to treat migraine include triptans such as Imitrex (sumatriptan) or Maxalt (rizatriptan), and newer medicines such as Ubrelvy (ubrogepant) or Reyvow (lasmiditan). Preventive medicines include pills taken by mouth, such as Nurtec ODT (rimegepant) or Topamax (topiramate), or a monthly injection of a calcitonin gene-related peptide receptor (CGRP) inhibitor, such as Aimovig (erenumab). Botox (botulinum toxin) injected into the face every three months has also proven effective in some patients who experience frequent migraine attacks.
If you have tried a migraine medicine in the past without success, talk to your doctor about some of the newer treatment options that have become available in recent years. Many of the older medicines used to prevent migraines were initially approved to treat other medical conditions, such as depression or hypertension. These newer medicines were developed specifically to treat migraines. While most people turn to medication at the first sign of a headache, this approach can also cause rebound headaches, also known as medication overuse headaches.
If you use headache medicine more than two or three times a week, you could trigger medication overuse headaches when the medicine goes away. Secondary headaches often start out of nowhere and are unbearable. Tension headaches are a common headache often provoked. Pain can vary from person to person, but it is usually felt throughout the body as a dull, aching sensation.
Tenderness or pain may also occur around the muscles of the neck, forehead, or shoulders. Most tension headaches can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers to relieve symptoms. Sinus headaches occur when the sinus cavity becomes inflamed due to allergies, illnesses, or dry weather, says the American Migraine Foundation (AMF). They are associated with deep, persistent pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose.
Pain often increases with sudden head movements and occurs with other sinus symptoms, such as runny nose, fever, and facial swelling. Sinus headaches are treated by reducing the accumulation of mucus that causes sinus pressure. Over-the-counter decongestants and antihistamines and prescription steroid nasal sprays may help relieve symptoms. A sinus headache may be a symptom of a sinus infection, which may require prescription antibiotics to treat the infection and help relieve headache and other symptoms.
Exertional headaches can occur immediately after periods of intense physical activity. Running, lifting weights, and having sex are common triggers for exertional headaches. These short-term, stabbing headaches can occur on both sides of the head and are easily treated with over-the-counter pain relievers and melatonin. Unlike typical headaches, migraines can cause throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, dizziness, nausea or vomiting, fatigue, and sensitivity to light, noise, or smell.
Migraines may be preceded by visual disturbances, such as halos, flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots. Many women often experience headaches related to hormonal fluctuations. Menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and hormonal contraceptives affect estrogen levels and cause headaches. It is estimated that about 60 percent of women with migraines also suffer from menstrual migraines, headaches associated with any part of the menstrual cycle, says the Cleveland Clinic.
Over-the-counter pain relievers, along with relaxation techniques, yoga, acupuncture, and diet modification, can help reduce or prevent hormonal headaches. According to AMF, cluster headache is a rare headache disorder that consists of severe burning or throbbing pain around or behind an eye or side of the face, often with facial swelling, redness, sweating, nasal congestion, drooping eyelids, and eye tearing that occurs on the same side as the headache. Cluster headache can be treated with acute and preventive drug therapy, such as oxygen therapy, steroid injections, oral steroids (commonly prednisone), and melatonin. You may be more susceptible to this type of headache if you use over-the-counter (OTC) pain relievers often.
However, repeated attacks or certain types of headaches may indicate a more serious health condition. Being able to correctly identify your specific category and type of headache can result in better treatments and faster relief from that headache. There are many different types of headaches with various symptoms, severity levels, and treatment options. Some types of headache can be prevented with medicines, while others can be caused by the same medicine.