Headaches are a common health complaint. Nearly everyone will experience a headache at some point during their lifetime, and these headaches can result in real pain.
Many people are surprised to discover that there are different types of headaches.
The more familiar you are with the various types of headaches you can experience, the better equipped you will be to seek medical attention when needed.
Most of the headaches that you may experience during your lifetime can be categorized as tension headaches. It is thought that stress, muscle tension, genetics, and environmental factors trigger tension headaches.
A tension headache will usually build slowly, resulting in moderate pain around both sides of the head or at the back of the head extending into the neck. The occasional tension headache can be treated with an over-the-counter painkiller.
Chronic tension headaches could require prescription medication to manage. You can help alleviate your tension headaches by engaging in relaxation exercises and ensuring you get enough quality sleep.
Migraine headaches are more severe than tension headaches and they can have an adverse effect on your day-to-day life.
A migraine headache is characterized by intense throbbing pain. You may also experience nausea, sensitivity to light, and loss of appetite when you are suffering from a migraine headache. These types of headaches have the potential to last for several days.
Experts have discovered that 75% of migraine sufferers are women. Other risk factors include a family history of migraines or a chemical imbalance in the brain.
Your doctor can prescribe medications that will help you experience some immediate relief when a migraine sets in, as well as medications that are designed to reduce or prevent migraines altogether.
Cluster headaches are considered the most severe by neurologists. These headaches are characterized by the sudden onset of severe pain. The pain typically tends to be concentrated behind one eye.
As their name suggests, cluster headaches occur in groups and can strike multiple times per day. The average cluster headache lasts between one and three hours.
Cluster headaches are not considered life-threatening, but they do have the potential to interfere with your personal and professional life since there is no way to predict when a cluster headache will occur.
Your neurologist can't cure cluster headaches, but they can prescribe medications that relax blood vessels and reduce inflammation to help mitigate your pain.
For more info about headaches, contact a local neurologist.