Different headache types, whether migraine cluster or tension are distinguished by the quality of the headache pain and whether it is sharp, dull, constant, intermittent or pounding …
Headache Types and Headache Pain …
Different headache types cause pain that is sharp, dull, constant, intermittent, or pounding.
Additional symptoms may accompany the headache, such as dizziness, numbness or weakness, changes in vision, difficulty with balance, eye, ear or cold symptoms and even fever
All the above factors help determine the headache type and whether or not it requires emergency treatment.
But ultimately, the cause and type of the headache determines the best course of treatment.
Any Headache type can affect anyone
Of any race, socioeconomic status, age or gender. Stress and anxiety are reported to trigger many peoples headaches, but others find no apparent reason for theirs.
- The most common headache types are known as the tension-type, with migraine the next most common
- A mild headache is often a tension-type headache or a mix of tension-type and migraine
- Your headache is caused by irritation or injury to the pain-sensing structures of your head.
The structures that can sense pain include the scalp, the muscles of the neck and head, major arteries and veins in the head, the sinuses, and the tissues that surround the brain. Headache may occur when these structures suffer compression, spasm, tension, inflammation, or irritation. The brain has no nerve endings so the brain itself cannot feel pain.
Common headache types …
- It occurs more often in women than in men
- Attacks can be occasional or more frequent
- Common contributors include stress, diet, posture and over 300 different medical conditions
- Symptoms include tight, or pressing, mild to moderate head pain, which may be on both sides of the head.
- Cluster headaches occur in men more often than women
- With a cluster headache, there is intense pain that is generally on one side around the eye or temple.
- A bloodshot eye, tearing, runny nose, eyelid drooping or swelling on the side of the face may occur.
- Headaches tend to occur in clusters, sometimes daily or every few days over weeks to months.
- After a cluster of headaches, there may be long symptom-free periods before another cluster occurs.
- Migraines with an aura are called classic, while those without are called common
- Migraine is more common in women than men
- It is often one-sided, throbbing and of moderate to severe intensity
- A migraine headache may be accompanied by nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.
Research Into Headache Types
Research into the mechanisms of various headache types continues, and new theories arise frequently. Specifically, the causes of the mild tension-type headache are not completely understood and vigorous debate continues. A common theory involves nerve endings in the head that are irritated by tight muscles in the neck, face, and scalp, along with irritation to the arteries and veins nearby.
The events that trigger mild headache vary widely among people who get headaches and each person seems to have his or her own pattern.
Common headache triggers
- Stress, before, during, or after menstruation.
- Muscle tension in the back and neck
- Medications designed to relieve pain can actually cause headaches when the drug is stopped after a period of prolonged use.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning from faulty heaters or stoves that have no proper exhaust to the outside.
If you suspect carbon monoxide poisoning, leave the building immediately and do not return until the levels of carbon monoxide are checked.
When to consult your doctor about your headaches?
Consult a doctor about your headache and find out what can be done for pain relief if …
- You have a chronic medical illness such as high blood pressure, heart disease, heart attack or stroke, diabetes, or liver problems.
- If you are not obtaining relief with over-the-counter pain medications, or you have pain in your face or eyes and you have a very severe headache.