Types Of Headache And How To Identify Them?


"All of us have experienced the throbbing, uncomfortable, and distracting pain of a headache at some point in our lives. The pain is often debilitating and hampers our entire day’s schedule. Many at times, we try to treat the problem, but the pain just doesn’t seem to alleviate. "

Have you wondered why?

Because there are different types of headaches that cause different symptoms and need different kinds of approaches to get rid of the pain. Here are some of the common types of headaches and symptoms that help in identifying them.

Headaches can be episodic or chronic. Episodic headaches, as the name suggests, occur quite often and can last anywhere from half an hour to several hours. Chronic headaches, on the other hand, last for days together and occur most days out of the month. For those suffering from chronic headaches, it’s necessary to have a solid pain management plan.

Types Of Headaches

  • Tension headaches : Those who have tension headaches feel a dull, aching sensation all over the head. The pain is not necessarily throbbing. The ache is triggered by stress and worry. Common symptoms of this condition include tenderness or sensitivity around the neck, forehead, scalp, shoulder or muscles. Cluster headaches
  • Cluster headaches : Cluster headaches cause severe burning or piercing pain in your head, around or behind one eye, or on one side of the face at a time. This type of headache, at times, causes swelling, redness, flushing and sweating on the affected area. It may also lead to nasal congestion and eye tearing on the same side as the headache. These headaches occur in a series that last anywhere between 15 minutes to three hours. They usually occur around the same time every day. A person suffering from cluster headaches usually experience one to four headaches a day, and this type is three times more common in men than in women.
  • Migraine : It is an intense pain pulsing from deep inside your head. Migraine pain can last for days in a row. Migraines can be considered to be one of the most severe types of headaches as it can significantly limit your ability to function normally and carry out your daily routine. Pain caused by migraine is generally throbbing and one-sided. Those who suffer from migraine headaches are often sensitive to light and sound. Nausea and vomiting are also some common symptoms. Most of the times you will experience certain symptoms, very specific symptoms, known as aura, before the headaches begin and may cause you to see flashing lights shimmering lights, zigzag lines, stars or blind spots.
  • Post-traumatic headaches : Post-traumatic headaches develop after a head injury or a head trauma. They may have symptoms such as migraine or tension-type headaches, and can last up to 6 to 12 months after the injury to the head. The chances of post-traumatic headaches turning into chronic headaches are often very high.
Dr Srinivasa Charry
Dr Srinivasa Charry
Consultant – Internal Medicine

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author. They do not reflect the opinions or views of the organization.

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