What are the main types of headaches?

The most common primary headache. If you have a tension headache, you may feel a dull, aching sensation all over your head. Cluster headaches are characterized by severe burning and pain. Migraine headaches are some of the hardest types of headaches to live with.

They usually start with severe, throbbing pain on one side of the head, which can spread. They also often cause nausea and vomiting. A migraine can last from a few hours to many days and can make people sensitive to lights, smells, and sounds. Doctors aren't sure what causes migraines.

Most experts believe that they start in the nervous system. Because migraines are often inherited, it seems likely that genes play an important role as well. Tension headaches may be short-lived and occur infrequently, or they may last for a while and recur frequently. They are episodic if you receive them less than 15 days a month.

They are chronic if you get them more often than that. Your doctor can diagnose continuous hemicrania if you have a headache continuously for at least 3 months and it doesn't change sides or go away. It is usually moderate, but it can get better or worse, and sometimes it develops into a brief, piercing pain. Tension headaches are the most common type of headache among adults and adolescents.

They cause mild to moderate pain and come and go over time. They usually have no other symptoms. Migraines are often described as throbbing, throbbing pain. They can last from 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur one to four times a month.

Along with pain, people have other symptoms, such as sensitivity to light, noise, or odors; nausea or vomiting; loss of appetite; and stomach or abdominal upset. When a child has migraine, he or she may look pale, dizzy and have blurred vision, fever, and an upset stomach. A small number of childhood migraines include digestive symptoms, such as vomiting, which occur about once a month. These headaches are the most serious.

You may have severe burning or throbbing pain behind or around one eye. It can be throbbing or constant. The pain can be so severe that most people with cluster headaches cannot sit still and often progress during an attack. On the side of pain, the eyelid falls out, the eye turns red, the pupil becomes smaller, or the eye produces tears.

The nostril on that side runs or fills. With sinus headaches, you feel a deep, constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. They occur when cavities in the head, called sinuses, become inflamed. Pain usually occurs along with other sinus symptoms, such as a runny nose, fullness in the ears, fever, and swelling of the face.

A true sinus headache is the result of an infection of the sinuses, so the dirt that comes out of the nose will be yellow or green, unlike clear discharge in cluster headaches or migraine headaches. Others share migraine symptoms, such as nausea or sensitivity to light. Chemical activity in the brain, nerves, or blood vessels surrounding the skull or muscles of the head and neck (or some combination of these factors) may influence primary headaches. Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches.

A primary headache is not due to another condition, it is the condition itself. Examples include migraines and headaches. Conversely, a secondary headache has a different underlying cause, such as a head injury or sudden withdrawal from caffeine. Most headaches fall into the main category, the most common being migraines, tension headaches, cluster headaches and sinus pain.

The most common type of headache, a tension headache, usually starts later in the day and lasts at least half an hour. However, repeated attacks or certain types of headaches may indicate a more serious health condition. Knowing what type of headache you have is critical to finding relief and potentially preventing them in the future. If you have any type of headache all the time, it's important to talk to your primary care doctor so they can help you create a treatment plan or refer you to a specialist.

The key to treating a headache is understanding what type it has, what triggers it, and addressing that specific problem. Once you know the type of headache you have, you and your doctor can find the treatment that is likely to help you and even try to prevent it. . .