Headache is one of the most common health problems that people face across the world. You could be experiencing a headache due to either of the conditions:
1. Primary causes – where the reason for pain are underlying processes of the brain. Migraine, cluster headache or tension pain are the types of such headaches.
2. Secondary causes – where the reasons are due to underlying medical conditions. Causes of such kind of headache are – brain tumor, cervicogenic problems, overuse of medication, sinus or post-traumatic headaches.
Types of headache
Just like there are different reasons for headache, there are different types of headache as well:
1. Tension headache
These headaches are generally non pounding headaches caused due to tightening of muscles in neck and scalp. They often feel like a tight band around the head. Such headaches could last from a few minutes to a few weeks and could be recurrent.
- Scalp tenderness
- Shoulder and neck stiffness
- Tightness across the forehead extending up to the back.
2. Cluster headache
Cluster headaches generally feel like burning sensation on one side of the head or behind the eye. They generally tear up the eye, produce nasal congestion or cause runny nose. Such headache may occur everyday with a frequency of more than once a day.
- One-sided pain behind the eye
- Throbbing pain in nature.
3. Migraine headache
These headaches cause throbbing pain usually on one side of the head. There are various kinds of migraine:
a. Chronic migraine – this occurs more than 15 days a month
b. Hemiplegic migraine – this is like a stroke. A person might not feel head pain but could be experiencing difficulty in vision, nausea, and dizziness.
- Severe throbbing and pulsating pain on one side of the head
- Nausea and vomiting
- Sensitivity to light & sound
4. Rebound headache
Such kind of headaches are generally experienced by the person who has stopped taking medicines for a specific kind of prior headache.
- Irritation and restlessness
- Trouble in remembering important details
When should you see a doctor
Usually, headaches are not life-threatening. However, you must seek medical advice if a headache occurs post-trauma or head injury. If you experience symptoms like facial numbness, slurred speech, numbness in any part of the body or convulsions you should immediately consult a doctor. There are few cases when patient experience pressure around the eyes along with yellow-greenish nasal discharge. Such symptoms should also be immediately reported to a medical practitioner.