It is very common to have a headache these days. Headaches happen because of multiple reasons that can be simple like exertion or complex in case of migraine etc. Many of us would be familiar with having some kind of headaches in our life-time but these headaches are of different types. Different types of headaches have their own cause and give different symptoms. Headaches can often by discomforting, distracting and painful. According to World Health Organisation nearly everyone experiences one or two types of headaches in their life span. Intensity of pain or discomfort may differ according to type of headache. Today, let us understand about different types of headaches and their causes.
How are Headaches Differentiated?
Headaches might not be as simple as we assume them to be. Therefore we have Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician from Sahara Hospital, Lucknow, with us to tell about different types of headaches. He says that headaches are majorly of two types, primary and secondary. Primary headaches are those which are caused by directly due to certain conditions and the pain occurs for a while and goes away. Secondary headaches are mostly those which are caused because of an underlying health disease or condition which makes these headaches consistent and repetitive. They can also be further sub-categorised but it can get complicated in that sense. Hence let’s stick to major types and their factors of influence.
7 Types of Headaches and Their Causes
1. Tension Headaches
This is one of the most common types of headaches. It comes under primary headaches and is caused majorly because of stress. Tension headache might give you a sensation of throbbing all over your head. It might feel dull and exhausted which may go around for few hours but then it gets well automatically. Tension headaches usually cause heaviness around neck, scalp, forehead and shoulder muscles.
2. Cluster Headaches
This type of primary headache can cause severe pain on one side of your head. It may also stress your eyes and cause painful sensation around eyes. Cluster headaches are often high in intensity and result in burning sensation or piercing in the head. It also causes swelling, redness or sweating at times which might last for a few hours. However this may come 2-3 times in a day when you have nasal congestion or fever or any other health disorder. Particular cause is still not defined though.
3. Migraine Pain
Migraine is a serious illness and causes repetitive pain in the head. It causes pulse sensation as if something is beating deep inside your head. Migraine headaches may affect your daily routine because they can become very irritating and painful. It occurs on one side of the head and even causes vomiting or nausea. Migraine is caused by genetics or nervous conditions in the brain that needs immediate medical help. You may have impact on your visual senses and result in flashing lights, zigzag lines, starts and blind spots. Migraine might also include trouble speaking and tingling sensations.
4. Sinus Headaches
Headaches can also be an outcome of allergic reactions. Headaches caused by sinus mostly confront your forehead and front part of your head. It can be painful and cause pressure on your senses. It becomes difficult to work when you have sinus pain. People having sinus often end up having migraine which can be due to seasonal allergies or sinusitis. You may be given anti-biotic to clear the infection for the sinus headache to go away.
5. Hormone Headaches
These types of headache are more common towards women because it occurs mostly because of hormonal fluctuations. The cause behind it can be due to menstruation cycle, birth control pill or pregnancy. All of these causes disbalanced of estrogens in women body and result in headaches. Menstrual migraine is most common among women as some females face it every month during their menstrual period. Hormone headaches occur mostly in this period or during ovulation. Relaxation techniques or some home remedies can reduce hormone pain.
6. Cervicogenic Headaches
This type of headache occurs because of some injury in the neck that may also be related to a disorder or disease. Cervicogenic headaches mostly happen due to arthritis or whiplash where the vertebrae or top spine area can be affected. It can be a long lasting headache and needs to be treated immediately to avoid any severe internal injury or dysfunction. It can cause the following things to happen-
- Stiff neck or reduce range of motion
- Severe pain in the neck, eyes and one side of the head
- Blurred vision
- Sensitivity to light and sound
Cervicogenic Headaches may need steroid injections or anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce of treat the pain. It can cause a headache for as long as 3 months and can even cause complications if not treated properly.
7. Hypertension Headaches
As the name suggests, these headaches are caused because of increased blood pressure levels in the body. Headache is like an emergency signal which central nervous system sends to control the situation. It can be very painful and is caused in both sides of the head. Hypertension headaches may occur along chest pain and shortness of breath. It can create a panic situation and hence immediate medical attention is needed in this case. If these headaches are not treated well at time, it could lead to life-threatening consequences. You are more likely to have this headache if you suffer from high blood pressure often.
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