13 Headaches Types and their symptoms, treatments

Men’s Health

Headaches are a headache, if not a total overtake-and-really-mess-up-your-day or -life kind of issue. Sometimes headaches are easily treated with prescription medications, whereas sometimes they could be an indication for something much more serious that will need medical treatment.

A headache is more than just one of them. It’s more likely to belong to one of two types: primary headaches and secondary headaches. The reason it’s important to know this: Knowing what category it belongs to and knowing the specific kind of headache it is will help you determine the best way to treat it.

Here’s the symptoms and signs to look out for in order to determine the type of headaches you’re experiencing.

Primary Headaches

Based on Huma Sheikh MD Headache specialist, and board certified neurologists in New York City, primary headache disorders refers to headaches which are the result of pain in your head. They include tension headaches and cluster headaches migraine, hemicrania perpetual and ice-pick headaches (as horrible as they appear).

Tension headache

Tension headaches are the most frequent kind of headache, according to Sarah Ling, DO, an ophthalmologist in the family medicine field from Waukee, Iowa. They are most often associated with the head on both sides of the head simultaneously (bilateral distribution) and range from moderate to mild in their severity, but are swiftly treated.

“Stress physical, mental as well as physical strain are the three most frequent causes headaches,” the doctor says. “Preventive treatment is essential when this kind of headache is frequent (10 to more headaches each calendar month).”

The most effective treatment options are the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAIDs) as well as therapies that are manual (osteopathic manual therapy massage chiropractic treatments as well as acupuncture). Manual therapies could be a part of a long-term treatment program. The longer-term treatments may include drugs like tricyclic antidepressants (TCAs) and SSRIs she says.


As per Dr. Ling, migraines often occur in people who are between the ages of 30 and 40 and usually occur on the opposite face. They can be caused by a myriad of things, including anxiety, changes in weather and sleep problems.

“Typically, migraines tend to be throbbing in the head,” she explains. It can feel like you’re hearing a drum beat within your head. Migraines can be caused by vomiting, nausea as well as an sensitivity to sound or light.

Treatments for migraines are most effective if they are administered when you notice the first signs rather than being patient for a long time.

If you suffer from migraines then it’s best to visit a physician to determine how you can reduce the symptoms. They may prescribe medications for migraines known as triptans. They may also suggest taking anti-nausea medication.

If you suffer from migraines You already know that you’ll need to do something to stop migraines from returning. There are remedies for migraines. Calcitonin gene-related protein (CGRP) antagonists are readily available to help prevent headaches which last longer than half one month according to Dr. Ling says. Other preventive measures that are generally used include exercise, cognitive-behavioral therapy, counseling as well as electric nerve stimulation.

“Migraine is more prevalent in women , but when it happens to males, they are very difficult to manage,” Dr. Sheikh says. “Migraine is the cause of concern for about 26,5 million individuals in the U.S., [with about one-fourth of the cases being men.”

Headache in clusters

Cluster headaches are usually very distinct The symptoms are often very clear, the doctor. Ling says. They are more common in men than women, and are associated with certain factors that you manage, like smoking cigarettes, as well as other factors which you can’t control, like genetics (runs through families) and head trauma (preventable in certain cases however, it’s not the only way to prevent them).

It is likely that you will know if you’re suffering from headaches in clusters, because symptoms may include attacks on the opposite side of your forehead (pain on the side of your eye over an eye area, or near the temple) which is often described as’stabbing'” Dr. Ling clarifies. “Occasionally in the same side of the head as headaches, you may suffer from eye drainage, red eye, as well as a running nose.”

If you’re suffering from headaches that are cluster-related The best course of treatment is triptans or oxygen as Dr. Ling says. Cluster headaches are not uncommon and, in order to prevent frequent attacks, you may require a medication to ease blood vessels (such as Verapamil) or be able to benefit from a brief period of corticosteroids. If you suffer from these headaches, you’ll want to consult with a physician to determine what’s the cause and what treatment are most effective for you.

Hemicrania continua

This is a far lesser-known type of headache where people experience continuous discomfort on one side of their head, typically behind the eye and around the temple region as Dr. Sheikh clarifies. “Continuous” means that hemicrania can go on for weeks. A NSAID that is favored for treating this type of headache is Indomethacin.

Headache from a ice cube

A headache caused by ice is named after its fact that it is brief, sharp discomforts lasting for just only a few seconds, as per the Cleveland Clinic. It can happen multiple times throughout the day and can appear without notice. Although they may be experienced in different areas of your head If you’re experiencing ice pick headaches frequently in the same location and you’re not sure what to do, talk to your doctoras different head conditions could cause similar type of pain.

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Second Headaches

Secondary headaches typically are caused by something else taking place and doesn’t begin with something happening inside your head. Other factors that may cause headaches could be anything from drinking too much caffeine or not having blood pressure managed. When you know what is the cause then you’ll be able to do something to address it and reduce the frequency of headaches that it is producing.

Sinus headache

It’s not surprising that sinus headaches typically occur after you’ve had an upper respiratory infections as per the Mayo Clinic. The majority of them feel centered in the sinuses as well as under the eyes as well as behind your nose. The issue is that migraines may cause pain in the sinuses as well, and at times it’s difficult to discern what the difference is between them. A definite indication can be that the sinus headaches do not usually cause nausea and vomiting. If you experience “sinus headaches” frequently, visit a doctor to make sure that it’s not migraine. In this way, you’ll receive the treatment you need to alleviate pain or reduce the pain when it shows up.

Rebound headache

Rebound headaches are common when a person is taking a lot of pain medication to relieve their headache. The use of caffeine-containing drugs is identified as being associated with these. Rebound headaches may feel light and tension-like, or they may be like migraines.These are often referred to as “medication use headaches,” explains Dr. Sheikh. You’ll need to speak with your doctor about how to stop the pain-pain-painkiller cycle.

Hypertensive headache

The headaches of this kind occur because of high blood pressure the doctor. Sheikh declares. If someone is not aware of high blood pressure or increases rapidly, it can trigger this kind of headache. Take immediate medical attention in case you suffer from headaches and changes in your vision and numbness. You may also experience chest pain, nosebleeds or breath shortness.

A posttraumatic head injury

The type of headache that occurs is when someone suffers concussions that could be severe or mild. “The concussion could be caused by a variety of reasons, and could result in a variety of symptoms, such as trouble sleep, mood disturbances and also difficulty in concentration as well as headaches,” Dr. Sheikh declares. “It may be experienced across both sides or on one side, and it can be similar to migraine or tension headache.” (See the most recent information treatment options for concussion here.)

Thunderclap headache

Thunderclap is a term used to describe for a kind of headache that develops suddenly and is most severe within several minutes or even seconds according to the doctor. Sheikh says.

“A headache that has this kind of character could be accompanied by other headaches like strokes or hemorrhage of the brain, or ruptured aneurysms,” she says. “A headache that has an aural sound needs to be addressed promptly in the ER because they may be caused by a risky cause like brain bleeding.”

Caffeine headache

Caffeine headaches occur after consuming excessive amounts of caffeine, or after you’ve decided to give up caffeine completely. If you’re suffering from migraines then you’re more likely to experience headaches because the substance which gives you a boost alters the flow of blood into the brain as per the American Migraine Foundation. This guide will aid you in cutting down on caffeine in the least painful ways that are possible.

Exertion headache

A headache triggered by exertion typically happens when you engage in vigorous physical activities like cardiovascular or strength exercise, or after sexual activity as per the Cleveland Clinic. The headaches are believed to be due to an increase in circulation of blood to the brain that causes throbbing pains across both the sides. These headaches aren’t likely to last more than a few hours; they can be resolved in a matter of minutes.

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