Different Types of Headaches

Not all headaches are the same, but, physiologically they share some of the same causes, treatments, and sentiment: they’re a big pain in the neckā€”and head! Doctors group headaches into three main classifications:

  • primary headache.
  • secondary headache
  • cranial neuralgias, facial pain, and other headaches

You can distinguish different types of headaches from each other by symptoms and the location at which the pain presents itself. The duration, precipitating factors, treatment, and prevention of the headaches differ. Let’s explore the different types of headaches out there.

Tension Headache

This headache presents itself as a dull, non-throbbing pain. There is also bilateral pain linked to the tightness of the scalp and neck. Stress and depression usually trigger tension headaches. Avoiding such emotional states is one way to prevent tension headaches. The treatment plan includes relaxation techniques and, in extreme cases, antidepressants.


A migraine is an intense headache that includes throbbing of the head. It is characterized by symptoms such as vomiting, nausea, and sensitivity to sound and light. They usually start in the early morning hours (between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m) and can happen chronically. Migraine without aura presents itself as a severe throbbing pain that is one-sided. Other symptoms include sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, and cold hands. Migraine with aura has symptoms that include numbness in arms or legs and visual disturbances.

Chronic Headache

Chronic headache occurs for more than half a month. It may shift from a migraine to a tension-type headache.

Allergy Headache

This type of headache is caused by exposure to allergens and is characterized by watery eyes and nasal congestion. Doctors will usually prescribe an antihistamine and nasal spray.

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This is an unbearable type of headache caused by a bulging or leaking blood vessel. It can occur anywhere in the head. An aneurysm headache is nothing to take lightly. If the aneurysm is inoperable, doctors will monitor and control blood pressure at a normal level. In some cases, surgical intervention will take place.

Hunger Headaches

Hunger headaches happen when an individual does not eat food regularly, diets extremely, or fails to eat a balanced diet. This causes your blood sugar to drop, resulting in an awful headache. To avoid experiencing this, eat regular, balanced meals.

Eyestrain Headache

This type of headache presents itself as frontal, bilateral pain. Vision correction, proper lighting, and taking a break from whatever you’re looking at treats and prevents eyestrain headaches.

Sinus Headache

Sinus headache symptoms include fever, gnawing pain over the nasal area, and blocked sinus ducts. Treatment includes decongestants, antibiotics, and surgical drainage.

Arthritis Headache

Arthritis headaches appear as pain at the back of the head and worsen with movement. There are no preventative measures one can take. However, you can treat it using muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs.

Headaches are uncomfortable experiences. But understanding the different types of headaches out there will put you in a better position to avoid or treat them.

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