Types of Headaches

Common Types of Headaches

Headaches are the result of the nerves that run along the top of our spinal column becoming stressed due to an imbalance of chemicals within the body. Headaches are usually caused by a change in the spinal cord’s ability to send impulses along the nerve pathways that affect the functioning of the brain and the rest of the body.

Most headaches occur in the neck, nerves, and cerebrospinal fluid that cover the head and neck of a person. Sometimes the tissues or arteries surrounding these areas swell contract, or experience other changes which stimulate the surrounding nerves, put undue pressure on them or cause them to become irritated.

There are many different types of headaches

Headaches come in four main types that fall into four major categories: tension headaches, migraine headaches, cluster headaches and sinus headaches. The different types of headaches stem from the actual causes of headaches. Tension headaches are generally caused when the head is hit or pressed against certain areas.

Migraine headaches can also be very similar to tension headaches as well as migraine headaches. A headache brought on by a migraine attack can have throbbing pain in one or both sides of the head and can be very intense.

The symptoms of headaches range widely

Some of these include nausea, vomiting, fever, facial swelling, dizziness, sensitivity to light, sound or smells, and sometimes even a feeling of going unreal or out of body. If you experience any of these symptoms and you believe they are a result of a headache, you should get medical attention. The sooner the medical attention is obtained, the better the chances of the headache being treated properly and leaving you feeling better.

Some of the more common types of headaches include

  • Frequent migraine headaches can be brought on by certain foods or beverages, which can affect serotonin levels in the brain. There are many different types of medications that can be given to control the headache symptoms and nausea that are associated with them.

One type of medication that is commonly given is Tagamet. It works by blocking and reducing the effects of acetaminophen, which is the most common pain reliever used for migraines. Another common headache medication that is sometimes given to migraine sufferers is Ergotamines.

  • Cluster headaches are one of the most debilitating types of headaches. There are two common types of cluster headaches that may require medical care. One type is a tension-type headache and another is called a stress headache. Stress headaches are often caused by changes in blood sugar levels or lack of sleep.
  • New daily persistent headaches are also known as neuropathic pain. Zanaflex is one of the most common drugs that is prescribed for these types of headaches. New daily persistent headaches can cause dizziness or lightheadedness, so it is best to see a physician if dizziness begins after taking the medication three months or more apart.

Two of the main types of rebound headaches that affect daily headaches can be attributed to the overuse of headache treatments such as ibuprofen or aspirin. Overuse of these products can lead to rebound hyperalgesia which is an increased sensitivity to pain.

This can occur in conjunction with the onset of migraine headaches or can simply occur one day after using the headache treatment. Swelling and pain that affects the side of the head most commonly occur in conjunction with rebound hyperalgesia. Headache treatments that contain overuse of these overused products can also lead to rebound hyperalgesia.

Headaches caused by lifestyle changes can also be prevented by making simple analgesic medications available on demand. If taking a headache treatment that contains ibuprofen, aspirin or any other over the counter or prescription medication causes severe pain, changing your medication to a non-opioid medication such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen can provide temporary relief.

These types of medications are less irritating than the stronger ones and can provide you with relief from mild to moderate pain for up to one hour. Simple analgesic medications can save your health and your life.

  • Sinus Infection Headaches caused by sinus infections are more common in children and adults over the age of 40. Headaches from sinus infections are usually accompanied by fever, facial puffiness, double vision, tenderness and/or pain near the eyes, and decreased sense of smell.

For children and adults, avoiding strenuous activities, rest and eating small meals can help you avoid these painful symptoms. However, if symptoms persist for longer than one day or occur after using over the counter or prescription medications to treat a sinus infection, seek medical attention immediately.

  • Migraine Headaches Most migraines are preceded by very intense feelings of tension, nausea, and sometimes even vomiting. Migraines are a very common types of headaches and are usually accompanied by visual disturbances such as flickers and flashes.

Tension and pain are two things you’ll experience during a migraine attack. The pain is usually most extreme immediately after the migraine headache begins and gradually fades within ten minutes. The attack might continue for more than four days but typically does not linger more than two weeks.

  • Optical Migraines is usually preceded by nausea, dizziness, light sensitivity or other warning signs. Pain and warmth normally progress until reaching a level where a person feels disoriented and confused about when the pain actually began. People with this condition usually feel a dull persistent pain that shoots up their neck.

Some people have only mild pain, while others have extremely severe headaches that can leave them in constant discomfort for over a week. There is no permanent treatment for this condition but there are medications available.

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