7 Types Of Headaches & How To Get Rid Of Them
We all often suffer from headaches which are not only frustrating but also make it hard for us to perform our daily activities properly. However, they are usually easily cured with a paracetamol, some rest or often adequate hydration.
Headaches are usually harmless and aren’t life threatening. However, it is human instinct to fret over things and interpret an ailment, in this case particularly severe or different type of headache as a brain tumor or a similar sinister condition.
Headaches can be primary as well as secondary meaning they can result from medication, an injury, or illness.
Mentioned ahead are some common types of primary headaches and ways to treat them:
- Tension headaches
Felt as bands of pressure across the forehead, this is a very common type of headache that can last up to several days. Fortunately, individuals can easily cope with it and go about their daily lives like they normally would.
Tension headaches are thought to be caused due to tightness in muscles over the scalp and the back of the neck, which usually results due to mental or physical stress. Tiredness, sleeping in the wrong position, stress and apprehension can all cause tension headaches. It can also happen if you stay hunched up for too long in front of the computer at work or consume excessive caffeine or inadequate amounts of water.
Tension headaches can be easily treated with painkillers. Reducing caffeine intake, adopting proper posture and drinking more water during the day can also prevent tension headaches from occurring too often.
Migraine is another common type of headache. It can be described aptly as a one-sided throbbing pain in the head, which is usually so intense that it is difficult to do anything when one has it and, hence, one usually has to sleep to feel better.
Migraines last from a few hours to even up to 3 days. Bright lights and loud noise aggravate the condition and patients often feel the urge to vomit or get nauseous while they are going through it. Those who have migraines experience it 2-3 times per month which can be quite a deterring experience.
One third of people experience migraines with an “aura” which means they experience warning signals before the actual onset of the headache. The signals can differ from individual to individual ranging from flashing lights in zig zag shapes or a firework display and a partial loss of vision, to tightness of the body, and even slurred speech.
Migraines get better with rest, water intake, sleep and darkness. Paracetamol and ibuprofen also help in easing the pain. Some people with frequent headaches get special prescription medicines as well from their physicians.
- Cluster headaches
Cluster headaches are so severe that they are termed as “suicide headaches”, thankfully though, they are generally uncommon. Like the name suggests, it is experienced in clusters for days and weeks, and then suddenly disappear for months at a stretch.
Cluster headaches are one-sided headaches and people who suffer from them term the pain as “the worst they have ever endured”. The side which is impacted is also characterized by a red, droopy eye and a stuffy or runny nose. They are also said to be more common in adult male smokers.
The only cure for cluster headaches is medicine prescribed by your doctor and sometimes even an inhaler does the trick.
- Chronic daily headaches
The chronic tension headache is caused due to tensed muscles in the back of the neck. It occurs more often in women than men. It is known as a chronic headache because it tends to persist for days and months. At times, they are even caused due to neck injuries and even tiredness as well as overuse of certain medications.
Using painkillers regularly for this type of headache can aggravate it and can even make it more frequent. Therefore, the best treatment for this type of headache is physiotherapy.
- Primary stabbing headaches
Also known as “ice pick” headaches, these are short, sudden and very severe headaches. Lasting between 5 to 30 seconds, these headaches feel as if there is something like ice pricking you sharply. They often occur behind the ear and can be quite scary for people who have the tendency to feel like they are suffering from a dangerous ailment whenever they are have a headache. These headaches are more common among people who also get migraines.
Primary stabbing headaches last for a very short period of time, hence no medication is required to cure them. However, medication taken for migraine is believed to reduce the number of its occurrences.
- Trigeminal neuralgia
This type of headache causes facial pain in short bursts like an electric shock. It can occur anywhere on the face region such as the eyes, nose, forehead, jaws, and around the lips. It is one-sided and more commonly experienced in people over 50 years.
Preventive medicines prescribed by the physician are required to treat this type of headache.
- Sinus headache
This headache is described as a deep pressure on your forehead, around the eye brows and eyes. It is often accompanied with a blocked or runny nose and fever. The headache is caused by sinusitis which is due to cold and seasonal allergies.
Sinus headaches do not go away without proper medication. Doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics along with antihistamines for the cold and allergy.
Headaches that we usually experience are often harmless. However, it’s important that we have an overall idea of our condition so that we do not mistreat our headaches. For instance, people often take paracetamol for sinus headaches, but that will rarely make it better. Hence, knowledge of the types of headaches and their symptoms is useful to help yourself and the people around you.