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Different Types of Headaches

Did you know there are over 100 types of headaches? Different types have their own symptoms and often need their own targeted approach for treatment.  

3 Types of Headaches

Migraines

Migraine headaches are intense. Many patients describe them as a throbbing or pounding pain. Oftentimes, migraine sufferers also experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, odors, and/or sound. These powerful headache attacks can last for several hours to days.

Although doctors don’t know the exact causes of migraines, there are some common migraine triggers. Some common triggers include: light, loud noise, odors, stress, caffeine, food, weather, and a woman's menstrual cycle. By avoiding your migraine triggers, you may be able to reduce the frequency, duration, and intensity of your migraines.

Over-the-counter pain medications help some people with migraines. There are also preventative medications that can be prescribed. These preventative medicines are taken every day to reduce the frequency of headaches. Other preventative measures include eating, sleeping, and exercising on a regular schedule.

Tension-Type Headaches

Tension-type headaches are the most common - in fact, 80% of adults in the U.S. get them at some point. Typically, they have mild to moderate symptoms. Symptoms include pressure or dull ache in your forehead or in the back of your head. Unlike migraines, these headaches don’t usually cause nausea, vomiting, or severe sensitivity to light. However, they can be very discomforting and irritating.

Tension-type headaches can be caused by multiple triggers - such as stress or tensed muscles in the neck and head. Tensed muscles can occur from bad posture, poor sleep, and stress. Usually, these headaches last only a few hours and occur only a few times a month. However, some people suffer from chronic tension-type headaches. Tension-type headaches become chronic if you experience these headaches for more than half of a month.

The best way to treat these headaches is to prevent them. Avoid your triggers. Learn to manage stress and how to relax. Over-the-counter pain medicine can be used to help treat the symptoms.

Cluster

Cluster headaches are one of the most severe types of headaches. There are not very common, however, they can be very painful. This type of headache happens in a series of short, but intense headaches. The headache and symptoms can last 15 minutes to over an hour, but come in “clusters.” Sufferers also tend to get these headaches at the same time every year.

A major symptom of this type of headache is an intense pain behind or around an eye - often described as a squeezing or burning pain. During an attack, the eyelid can droop and the pupils can constrict. Symptoms often come suddenly.

Like most headaches, cluster headaches cannot be cured. Rather, the focus is on lessening the frequency, duration, and intensity of the pain. Some treatments for cluster headaches include breathing through an oxygen mask and a range of prescription medications.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, such as migraines or cluster headaches, consider visiting a pain clinic. Pain clinics specialize in treating and diagnosing a wide range of painful conditions. If you are looking for a Las Vegas pain clinic, contact Apex Medical Center.  

Author
Apex Medical Center

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