Over 15 percent of adults in the United States frequently complain about headaches or migraines. This is twice as common among women than men. Headaches may be acute or chronic, and they can also be an indicator of a serious medical condition. If you suffer from frequent headaches, it’s best not to ignore them and consult a medical expert. Meanwhile, let’s take a look at some different types of headaches and what they usually mean.
Tension Headaches- Types of Headaches
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches, with almost everyone experiencing them once in a while. They are mostly caused by stress, but the environment and genetics may also play a role in the headaches’ frequency and severity.
Symptoms of tension headaches include a dull, aching sensation in your head, pain in the back of the head and even the neck. If tension headaches continue to persist for a while, they might become chronic. They can be treated using over-the-counter pain relief, or you might want to consult a doctor for a specific medical prescription.
Migraine- Types of Headaches
A migraine is another common type of headache and is often confused with tension headaches. It consists of a severe pulsing pain deep in your head and can often last for days. Migraines may either be genetic or could indicate a problem with your nervous system. Women are three times more prone to suffering from migraines than men.
Migraine symptoms are more intense and debilitating than headache symptoms. They include nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to lights and sound, and speech difficulties. Migraines can either be treated by pain-relief medication. But if it doesn’t work, doctors might prescribe triptans which are special drugs to help relieve migraines.
If you experience migraines quite frequently, i.e., more than six times a month, it is recommended to consult a doctor for underlying health conditions affecting your nervous system.
Cluster Headaches- Types of Headaches
Cluster headaches are a type of headache that occurs in series or clusters. In a cluster headache, a person experiences a burning or piercing pain that can last a few minutes or even hours. They are usually triggered by alcohol, smoking cigarettes, exposure to bright light, or a change in altitude.
In a cluster headache, the pain usually builds up behind the eye, resulting in red or watery eyes, eyelid drooping, and even restlessness and agitation. Cluster headaches can’t usually be treated using over-the-counter headache relief medicine. You might need oxygen therapy or even local anesthetics to provide pain relief.
Mostly prevalent in women, hormone headaches are related to the menstrual cycle and the hormonal fluctuations that occur during it. Different factors like menstruation, pregnancy, and taking birth control all alter the levels of estrogen in a woman’s body, which affects hormones and can cause a headache. They usually occur when a woman is on her period or pregnant.
Menstrual migraine is a hormonal headache common among several women. There are a variety of methods to treat hormonal headaches. Over-the-counter pain relief meds can do the trick, but they are not recommended, especially for pregnant women. Other treatment options include dietary changes and alternative treatment methods like yoga and acupuncture.
The headaches may vary from person to person and condition to condition. It is advisable to consult a gynecologist if you’re experiencing frequent hormone headaches during menstruation or pregnancy instead of consuming any pain relief medication they can get their hands on.
If you often experience severe headaches or migraines for several reasons but can’t seem to determine what may be causing them, consult a doctor immediately to give you advice and diagnose any underlying medical conditions.
However, if you get occasional and acute headaches that disrupt your everyday routine, then get over-the-counter headache relief medicine.
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Disclaimer: Always consult with a medical professional about your physical symptoms. This blog is intended for informational purposes and is not a replacement for professional medical advice.