What Are the Different Types of Headaches?

Headaches are one of the most common reasons people seek medical care. In fact, it affects up to three-fourth of all adults in the world, according to the WHO.

Take migraines, for example, they affect more than 39 million individuals in the United States. And left untreated, they can easily affect an individual’s quality of life.

That’s not all, there are several other different types of headaches as well. Want to know what they are? If so, you’re on the right page because that’s what we’ll be discussing below.

Keep reading to learn more about the topic!

5 Different Types of Headaches Explained

Headaches can either be episodic (occur every once in a while) or chronic (consistent). Fortunately, there are various treatments available (more info here).

Anyway, here are some of the most common types.

1. Tension Headaches 

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They occur when the neck and head muscles become tense due to stress, food, or certain activities.

For example, some people might develop a tension headache after driving for a long period of time. Other triggers include eye strain, dry eyes, fatigue, alcohol, and caffeine.

Symptom-wise, it usually causes a dull pain, which can range from mild to severe. In some cases, it can also feel like pressure around your forehead.

2. Cluster Headaches 

Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of headaches. Characterized by piercing pain, they typically occur on one side of the head but can switch sides in some people.

And while they’re short, they usually occur in a series. For example, it’s not uncommon for someone to experience up to four cluster headaches a day.

3. Migraines

Migraines are a type of headache that causes throbbing pain on one side of the head. More often than not, they’re accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Common triggers include bright lights, dehydration, severe heat, hormonal changes, and changes in sleep patterns.

4. Sinus Headaches 

Sinus headaches occur when the sinus passages behind your eyes, nose, and cheeks become congested. This is usually caused by an allergy, sinus infection, or upper respiratory infection (e.g. cold or flu).

Aside from pain, it can also cause pressure and fullness in your cheeks, brow, or forehead. Not only that, but it can cause fatigue in some people as well.

5. Hormone Headaches 

Some headaches are linked to hormonal fluctuations. For example, it can be caused by pregnancy, menstruation, or birth control pills in women.

In fact, many people experience menstrual migraines, which tend to occur right before, during, or after menses.

Understanding Headaches 

And there you have it—five different types of headaches. As you can see, they all have their own triggers and causes. 

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