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Published On: Mon, Nov 26th, 2018

6 Types of Headache and How to Treat Them

Everyone experiences a headache once in a while. Although these headaches are defined as pain in any region of the head, their causes, duration, and severity of pain usually varies according to the type of headache one is suffering from. Each type of headache can exhibit different types of symptoms and may require a different form of treatment or medication to curb it. Not all headaches are the same and caused by the same things. Would you know that the way in which you wear your innerwear can also give you a headache? Not kidding!

photo/ Robin Higgins via Pixabay

THE TENSION HEADACHE

Causes: Stress is the common most cause of tension headaches; sleep deprivation, excessive alcohol consumption, caffeine withdrawals, and fatigue are also some of the causes.

Recognition & Solutions: A tension headache usually gives you pain on both sides of the head, especially on the temples. The most effective treatment of a tension headache is by addressing its underlying cause. If it is lack of sleep, then you should look to sleep more; if it is alcohol, you should quit or lower down your alcohol intake.

MIGRAINE HEADACHE

Causes: The exact cause of migraines is still unknown, but it is believed to be a combination of genetics and some triggers that cause tension headaches, like stress, menstrual cycles, and even wine and chocolate. It can be passed on through heredity from one generation to the next.

Recognition & Solutions: Migraines usually give you a throbbing pain on one side of the head. You might also feel a bit nauseous and may have an elevated sense of smell. Some people also experience visual auras such as sparking lights or flashes in the vision. The treatment of migraines typically depends on its severity. For some, sitting in a dark, quiet room and getting rid of the stimulation can help them in finding relief from the pain; while for others taking some migraine pills is the go-to thing. If your migraines get worse, you may end up being required to take a daily medication for it.

SINUS HEADACHES

Causes: When there is pressure exerted on the sinuses that causes head pain, you have a sinus headache. It usually comes from build-up from a sinus infection or an allergy.

Recognition & Solutions: If you’re having a sinus headache, you will experience pain and pressure in the upper portion of the nose and cheeks, and front portion of the head. Most people use a saline nasal spray or an allergy medication to treat this. But if you’re pain is overwhelming, it may be time to visit an ear, nose, and throat specialist for a personalised diagnosis & treatment.

CLUSTER HEADACHES

Causes: Cluster headaches tend to occur in bouts of regular episodes usually known as cluster periods. These cluster periods can last for weeks and even months.

Recognition & Solutions: Cluster headaches usually happen at night ranging for roughly half an hour to one hour, and they can be incredibly painful. It is many a times described as a stabbing feeling on one side of the head or around an eye. Tears and sweating are also common symptoms. They typically occur at about the same time daily during the cluster period, then disappear until the next cluster period begins. If you think you have this type of headache, it is best to consult a doctor and make sure that you get treated at the earliest. There are various drugs available in the market today, which can significantly help in preventing the condition no matter if it has been going on for quite some time. But, consulting a physician is important.

MENSTRUAL HEADACHES

Causes: As the name suggests, you can blame your periods for this kind of headaches. Women often experience headaches or migraine-like symptoms within a day or two before their period begins. It can also occur during the period, or ovulation.

Recognition & Solutions: You will experience the same symptoms as that experienced in case of a regular migraine. Throbbing pains on one side of the head, nausea, elevated sense of smell, flashes of light, etc are some common symptoms. A lot of prescription medicines are available for this type of headache. However, there’s another solution which can help you on a long-term basis – suppress your period. A continuous contraception to suppress your periods means that when you don’t get a period, you will not end up getting a migraine.

REBOUND HEADACHES

Causes: These headaches most commonly occur on the heels of migraine and/or tension headaches. When you regularly use pain-killers and similar medicines to treat your headache, the drugs can themselves become a cause of headaches.

Recognition & Solutions: Rebound headaches can happen almost every other day. However, it mostly happens during the day time, typically morning. They often feel like migraines and although your pain killers might feel like a helping hand at first, the headaches will quickly return as the effect of the drugs subside. The treatment to rebound headaches is by stopping the ongoing medication; or limiting the dosage of the medication that is causing these headaches. These can only be diagnosed well by a doctor. So, consult a good physician first before ascertaining whether to stop or reduce the dosage of any particular medicine.

There can be other types of headaches too, that is, headaches that may have been triggered by some other diseases or underlying conditions. No matter what type of headache you experience, if they are frequent and severe in nature, it’s always a good idea to consult your doctor and check what is going on in your body, and come up with a treatment plan before it’s too late to control. The solutions can be as simple as taking some over the counter medicines or it may be a little complicated such as going through an in-patient treatment. Whatever be the case, you will be in a much better condition and better equipped to deal with the other headaches in your life when you address the literal kind.

Author: Ravi Kumarr Gupta

About the Author

- Outside contributors to the Dispatch are always welcome to offer their unique voices, contradictory opinions or presentation of information not included on the site.

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