The different types of headaches and how to treat them
Headaches are more common than you think. Surely, you’ve experienced at least one. Currently, there are over 100 different types of primary headaches that vary in intensity, trigger, and remedy.
The tension headache is the most common type of headache. This type of headache may be mild to moderate in pain. Some may describe it as having a tight rubber band compressing your head. Tension headaches usually last anywhere between 1 to 6 hours. If you experience prolonged headaches, please seek professional help.
Cluster headaches have a specific pattern of attack and type of pain. With this type of headache, you may feel pain localized pain in one part of your head which seems to radiate and migrate toward a common central point each time. The attacks may occur as frequently as several times a day to several times an hour.
A migraine generally affects one side of the head. You may feel a pulsing sensation or severe throbbing. Some may experience extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound. In some cases, it may be accompanied by nausea or vomiting. Occasionally, some may experience a visual disturbance such as flashes of light, tunnel vision or blind spots. Rarely, you may experience tingling on one side of your body such as on the side of your face, or on one arm or leg. Regardless, migraine headaches are overwhelmingly painful without the additional symptoms that accompany them.
Here are just a few of the countless symptoms associated with some of the most common headaches:
- Mild pain, tightness, or pressure on one or both sides of the head with no specific pattern.
- Intense throbbing, pounding, or pulsing on one side of the head that lasts up to 48 hours.
- Pain triggered by specific factors such as stress, disrupted sleep patterns, allergens, or even certain types of foods.
- Vision disturbances such as blind spots, blurred vision, eye pain, stars, or tunnel vision. These are called auras and can occur anywhere from a few minutes to an entire day before the actual headache hits.
- Severe pain behind one of the eyes that occurs at least twice a day for 30 to 90 minutes at a time. This is generally followed by eye redness, runny nose, and congestion.
Headache symptoms can either lead to or coincide with a number of other conditions. Some of these include:
- Increased urination
- Loss of appetite
- Nausea and vomiting
- Trouble Concentrating
- Sensitivity to light
There are a number of other factors that can lead to headaches: Some factors includes but are not limited to:
- Sinus pressure
- Muscle spasms
- Abnormal brain activity
- Unusual activity in the hypothalamus.
What You Can Do
It is important to identify any triggers and causes leading to the headaches. One recommendation is to keep a food diary. By identifying and tracking what foods are consumed and not consumed, a pattern or trigger may be identified. Oftentimes, the cause of a recurring headache may be due to consuming inadequate enzymes, minerals, oxygen or water. Other times, headaches may be cause by poor nutrition or sleep habits. Some headaches may even be a side effect of medications.
One recommended remedy for pain relief is to utilize a hot/cold compress. Try applying the compress to the back of the neck or directly to the head where the pain is most intense.
If you are experiencing persistent, prolonged and intense headaches, seek professional help. This may be a sign of underlying issues within the body.
If you would like to find your headache remedy, please call at (225) 478-9665.