Many individuals do not know how complicated headaches can be. Distinct types may present with different symptoms, develop for various causes, and require various therapies.
Knowing the sort of headache, you have will help you and your doctor determine the best course of action, including trying to prevent future headaches.
Common Headache Disorders
There are over 150 types of headaches, but the most common types include:
- Stress Headaches
Adults and teenagers have tension headaches the most frequently. They are mild to moderately painful and gradually disappear. They typically show no additional symptoms.
- Chronic Headaches
The agony of a migraine headache is frequently characterized as throbbing and hammering. They typically occur one to four times per month and can last anywhere from four hours to three days. Along with the discomfort, individuals also have other symptoms like sensitivity to light, sound, or scents; nausea or vomiting; appetite loss; and an upset stomach or pain in the abdomen. A youngster who is experiencing migraine may appear pale, feel lightheaded, have hazy vision, have a fever, and have an upset stomach. About once a month, stomach problems like vomiting occur in a tiny percentage of children with migraines.
- Cluster headaches
These migraines are the worst. Behind or around one eye, you might experience excruciating searing or piercing pain. It may throb or be present constantly. Most cluster headache sufferers find it difficult to sit still and frequently pace during an attack because the pain can be so severe. The eyelid droops, the pupil shrinks, the eye reddens, or tears are produced on the side of the pain. On that side, the nostril runs or becomes blocked.
Because they frequently occur in bunches, they are known as cluster headaches. During a cluster phase, which could last two weeks to three months, you might experience them one to three times per day. An average headache attack lasts between 15 and 3 hours. You may be roused from sleep by them. For months or years, the headaches can entirely stop (your doctor will refer to this as a remission), only to return later. Three to four times as many males as women will develop them.
- Chronic daily headache
This type of headache is yours. More than three months, 15 days, or more per month. Some are not long. Others go more than four hours. Usually, it is one of the following four basic headache types:
- Chronic migraine
- Chronic tension headache
- New daily persistent headache
- Hemicrania continua
- Sinus headaches
You have a sharp, ongoing pain in your cheeks, forehead, or on the bridge of your nose when you have a sinus headache. They develop when the sinuses, or cavities in your head, become inflamed. The pain frequently coexists with other sinus symptoms such as a runny nose, ear fullness, fever, and facial swelling.
Contrary to the clear discharge experienced during cluster or migraine headaches, a real sinus headache is caused by a sinus infection, thus the mucus that comes out of your nose will be yellow or green.
- Post-traumatic headaches
Two to three days after a head injury, posttraumatic stress headaches typically appear. As follows:
- a persistent dull pain that occasionally gets worse
- difficulty concentrating
- memory issues
- tiring easily
For a few months, headaches can persist. Call your doctor, though, if it does not go better in a few weeks.
Seven reasons why you have a headache:
The most typical causes of each of these headache types are listed below.
1. Tension: Tension headaches are frequently brought on by tense shoulders and neck muscles, which are brought on by stress. It is thought to begin in the muscles. When tension headaches occur frequently, the brain interprets the discomfort in the neck and shoulder muscles as head pain. Another typical migraine trigger is stress.
2. Diet: A migraine or tension headache can be brought on by hunger. However, consuming foods may cause migraines. A single food group, such as beans or nuts, or a variety of foods, including avocados, bananas, cheese, chocolate, citrus, herring, dairy products, and onions are all possible. Processed foods containing nitrites, nitrates, yellow food colors, or monosodium glutamate can be particularly dangerous.
3. Use of alcohol– Cluster headaches and migraines are frequently brought on by alcohol. Any amount of alcohol can cause a headache, but for some folks, just a few ounces of red wine can do. It is unclear whether the issue is caused by the alcohol itself or another element in the beverage.
4. Your environment: Cluster headaches tend to occur more frequently in the spring or fall. It is something in the environment, but we are unable to identify it currently. Migraine headaches are linked to environmental conditions including strong light, smoke, humidity, potent odours, or cold temperatures.
5. Hormones: Women experience migraines more frequently than males do, and changes in oestrogen levels are linked to this. In younger women, migraines may be related to menstrual cycles. When oestrogen levels fluctuate during perimenopause, migraines in previously migraine-free women may occasionally begin. A migraine trigger could also be oestrogen therapy. Most women’s migraines do seem to stop during menopause.
6. Caffeine addiction: If you typically drink coffee or tea, stopping abruptly could result in a migraine. This might be because coffee makes blood vessels close off; in its absence, the blood vessels open and protrude out with each heartbeat, which is one of the main causes of migraines’ excruciating agony.
7. Insufficient sleep: Tension headaches and migraines are linked to sleep deprivation. Although there is a correlation between sleep and pain reduction, we do not know why. Sometimes taking a nap makes individuals feel better.
Is this your type of headache?
Here are three typical headache types and their signs:
- Tension headache: A tight band of pain frequently surrounds your head after beginning in the neck and back. With relaxation, it frequently disappears.
- Migraine headache: You become sensitive to light and sound, and the pain usually starts on one side of your head and throbs or pounds. It might make you sick. Hours or days may pass between migraine attacks.
- Cluster headache: An eye pain that stabs like a cluster headache. It could result in a runny nose, nasal congestion, eye tears, or redness. It could occur for a short while or for several hours, disappear, and return numerous times daily. These cluster headaches can last for several months before going away and returning a long time later.
How you can help in reducing them:
You can prevent headaches in the future by being aware of your headache’s causes. However, pinpointing triggers can be challenging, especially if you have multiple triggers (like several kinds of food). To record the day, time, signs, and circumstances around a headache (what had you eaten? where did it happen?), doctors advise people in maintaining a diary.
Consult your doctor if avoiding triggers is not enough to prevent headaches. Numerous prescription drugs and drug-free approaches (such as acupuncture, meditation, biofeedback, and relaxation therapy) might lessen headache frequency. You will also need to take further steps. Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise, eat a nutritious diet, limit alcohol use, and reduce stress. Since headaches are a hypersensitive condition, your body needs to be in balance to combat triggers.
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