Analyzing the Different Types of Headaches and How to Treat Them
Everyone suffers from a headache every once in a while. Some headaches are more painful than others, and their duration also differs. The reason is that headaches are not the same. While they all cause pain and discomfort, different headaches have differing names, causes, and treatment methods.
What Is a Headache?
It is a painful sensation in your head and face that is sometimes accompanied by other symptoms. Typically, headaches can be described as sharp, dull, throbbing, or persistent pain that changes intensity. Given as headaches are the most common types of pain in the human body, it is no surprise that you will find yourself complaining of a sharp pain in the head that comes and goes every once in a while. In adults, headaches are more common than in children.
What Are the Common Types of Headaches?
There are over a hundred types of headaches, depending on the causes. However, the various types can be grouped into either primary or secondary headaches. Primary headaches are the most common types, and they cannot be attributed to an underlying health problem. The types of primary headaches are:
- Cluster headache
- Tension headache
- Migraine headache
- New daily persistent headaches (NDPH)
Secondary headaches are the other types of headaches that mostly result due to an underlying health issue. For these headaches, you need to visit a 24-hour ER in Waxahachie to determine the underlying cause. Some types of secondary headaches include:
- Head injury and trauma
- Sinus congestion
- Hypertensive problems
- Overusing medication
- Brain-related problems – including brain injury or diseased blood vessels in your brain
- Drug misuse and abuse
- Hereditary migraines
What Causes Headaches?
Headaches usually result due to signals in your brain destabilizing the nerves and blood vessels thereof. Depending on the type of headache you have, the underlying cause will differ. For many secondary headaches, the trigger is usually another health problem. However, other triggers of headaches are:
- Concussions, trauma, and injuries
- High fever
- Dental pain – a toothache or jaw pain
- Alcohol usage
- Smoking – or secondary smoking
- Depression, stress, anxiety, and other mental disorders
- Neck, back, and eye pain – resulting from poor posture
- Poor lighting or excessive exposure to light
- Fatigue and lack of good quality and adequate sleep
How to Know You Have a Headache
Truthfully, you will not need anyone to tell you that your head is in pain. The only thing that you may not know is the type of headache you have. Some tips to help you determine what type of headache you have are:
- Tension headaches – you will experience consistent throbbing pain, usually on both sides of your head. This bilateral headache is the most common kind and responds well to over-the-counter pain relievers.
- Migraine headaches – are accompanied by symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, and abdominal pains. The headache will feel like a throbbing or pounding pain that will last for at least 4 hours and may continue for several days.
- Cluster headaches – for primary headaches, these are the most severe kinds of headaches and need urgent care in the nearest emergency room to you. They feel like an intense, constant stabbing or burning pain in your eye region, usually behind one of your eyes.
- NDPH headaches – come suddenly on both sides of your head and last for up to three months without responding to over-the-counter medication.
- Secondary headaches – feel different, depending on the underlying cause, best diagnosed by a doctor in an ER nearby. You will need to consider the accompanying symptoms, including:
- Swelling in your face
- Bad taste in your mouth
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty sleeping
- Neck, throat, and dental pain
When to Go to ER for a Headache
Any pain that limits or restricts your productivity and functionality should be treated by a medical professional. Usually, emergency rooms for headaches or migraines can handle all types of headaches. However, be especially keen when the affiliate symptoms of your headache are severe, including:
- Prolonged and excessive vomiting
- Loss of consciousness and seizures
- Speech difficulties and other communication deficits
- Loss of memory and general mental confusion
- Vision impairment – whether temporary or not