Headache is one of the most common health issues that we all would have faced some time or the other. They may be mild or strong; arising from the smallest of issues like tension and lack of sleep and also due to certain major health problems in our body.
At times they seem to arise from nowhere and also vanish on their own but quite often, they need special attention on our part like medicines or simply catching some sleep.
Some of the common symptoms that accompany a headache are restlessness, tension, stress, dehydration and lack of sleep. Sometimes a headache can be very persistent and may be related to some other complicated health issue. Hence, it is important to understand the causes as well as the symptoms in order to treat them effectively.
Types of headaches
Based on the symptoms as well as causes headaches can be broadly divided into four types –
- Migraine headaches
- Cluster headaches
- Tension headaches and
- Sinus headaches
The main reason for migraine headaches seems to be some unknown switch related to hormonal fluctuations. This headache is often also mistaken as sinus headache or a tension headache.
- Some of the symptoms that cause this headache are
- Sensitivity to sound or light
- Pulsating pain in the forehead
- Generally one-sided pain
- Occasional visual disturbances and
The secondary symptoms are- language as well as speech impairment, loss of sensation in the limbs, appearance of sparks or flashing lights in the eyes, floating vision, etc.
Triggers associated with migraine headaches
These may be environmental triggers like changes in weather or temperature, stressful situations as well as anxiety of the unknown. It may also be food triggers wherein certain types of foods / drinks or the dairy products like cream and buttermilk or possessed meats, etc.
Also drinks like non alcoholic beverages, coco, hot chocolates and even coffee have been known to affect certain people.
Cluster type of headaches
These headaches are fairly common amongst men and hence it is suspected that it could be related to the male hormones. Its symptoms are also quite unique like
- Running nose or stuffy nose
- Accompanied by severe pain in the forehead
- Watery Eyes
- One-sided pain of the head
- Frequent headaches lasting over days and sometimes over weeks.
The most common Trigger for this type of headache is excess consumption of alcohol.
This is one of the most commonly occurring headaches among men as well as women and affects almost 90 % of the population. The main reason for this is tension or stress which causes the muscles in the neck as well as scalp region to constrict, leading to hindrance in the blood supply.
The symptoms of this type of headache are-
- Radiating pain in the shoulder as well as neck region
- Centralized pain over the temples or on the forehead
- Squeezing pain on either side of the head
- Gradual increase of pain with no other symptoms nausea or sensitivity to light
These are the headaches that are accompanied with watery eyes and running or stuffy nose.
The symptoms include
- fever along with running nose
- pain around the nose as well as the eyeballs
- Mild pain in the temples.
When to see the doctor?
Most of the headaches disappear on their own within a few hours or maybe a day, but you must see the doctor in case you have the following signs
- Headache that lasts for a few days at a stretch
- Headache accompanied by tingling in the limbs
- Any head injury with a headache
- Serious headache accompanied with stiff neck, vomiting or extreme sensitivity to light.