Types of Headaches

There are different types of headaches. Some times headaches can be more complex if not take care of. Different kinds of headaches have their own type of symptoms. They occur for unique reasons and each needs a different kind of treatment.

It’s important to figure out the type of headache that is giving you discomfort. When you know the type of headache you have it’s easier to treat it and your doctor will find the best treatment for the headache and even prevent it or treat it correctly.

What is a headache?

A headache is a pain that arises from the head or upper neck of the body. The pain may be a sharp ache, dull ache, throbbing, mild, intermittent, constant, or intense. This pain originates from structures and tissues that surround the skull or the brain since the brain itself has no nerves that give rise to the sensation of pain. The thin layer of tissue surrounding the bones, muscles that cover the skull, sinuses, the eyes, the ears, and the thin tissues that cover the surface of the brain and spinal cord arteries, veins and nerves. They sometimes become swollen or irritated and cause headache.

Sometimes the headache might be difficult to explain, the common symptoms include squeezing, throbbing, constant, or intense. The headache may be part of the skull or face or one side of the head or may be widespread the whole head.

You may also like to read on : Causes of Headaches

How are headaches classified? Classification of headaches

There are so many types of headaches and a lot of people suffer from them.  Headaches have been classified in order to make diagnosis as to the type of headache the patient has and offer the right medication or effective treatment.

What are the Headaches Types?

There are many types of headaches. Each has its own symptoms. The most common headaches types are:


Migraine headaches are frequently referred to as pounding and throbbing pain. The headache can last from 5 hours to 72 hours and more often than not happens one to four times in a month.

During the pain, some people might experience other symptoms such as sensitive to smells, light and noise; loss of appetite; vomiting or nausea; stomach upsets or belly pain. A child, who has migraine, often looks pale, has a fever, blurry vision or feels dizzy.

Tension headaches

They are also known as chronic daily headaches, stress headaches, or chronic non-progressive headaches. They are most common headache type among adults and teenagers. One feels like a constant ache or pressure around the head, mainly at the temples or back of the head and neck. It causes mild to moderate pain and comes and goes over time.

One can usually treat them over the counter. The experts believe it may be caused by the contraction of neck and scalp muscles, and probably changes in brain chemicals.

Cluster headaches

Cluster headaches appear suddenly and are characterized by intense pain, one feels like a burning or piercing pain behind the eyes on one side of the head. It is often accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a running nose on the same side of the face.

The pain is usually severe, either throbbing or constant. This type is least common. During the attack one often feels restless and unable to get comfy. Cause of this headache type is unknown, although there might be a genetic element. There is no cure; medication can reduce the frequency and duration.

It is called cluster headaches as they are recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. During the cluster period, you might get them one to three times per day and may last for two weeks to three months.

Cluster headaches may disappear completely for months or years, before resurfacing.

Rebound headaches

This type of headache is mainly due to the overuse of painkillers for headaches.
Too much medication can cause the brain to shift into an excited state, activating more headaches. Also sometimes if you are used to medication, withdraw of the medicine might lead to rebound headaches as the level of the medicine drops in the blood stream.

Sinus headaches

This type of headache makes you feel a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, bridge of your nose or forehead. It happens when the cavities in your head which are called sinuses get inflamed, mainly due to an infection. The pain usually comes along with other sinus symptoms, like feeling of fullness in the ears, a runny nose, swelling in your face and fever.

The sinus headaches can be diagnosed by symptoms or the presence of pus viewed through a fiber-optic scope.

Mixed headache syndrome

They are also known as transformed migraines. It’s a mix of migraine and tension headaches.

Hormone headaches

They mostly occur in women. They get this headache type from changing hormone levels during their periods, the pregnancy period, and menopause. Some women also experience headaches that are triggered by hormone changes from birth control pills

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Causes of Headaches
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