Just about everyone has a headache now and then. Most are fairly easy to
manage with over-the-counter medications, and we tend to blame them on
stress, eye strain or lack of sleep. But some people have chronic or severe
headaches with very specific symptoms that require ongoing medical treatment.
Before you can treat a headache, however, it helps to know what kind it is.
5 common types of headaches:
Sinus: Many individuals suffer from chronic sinus headaches, which produce a
deep, dull pain around the bridge of the nose and behind the cheekbones.
These are caused by inflamed or infected sinuses, and they result in an
overall “stopped up” feeling in the head, especially in the
ears and nose.
Tension: Tension headaches cause an uncomfortable tightness like a headband squeezing
the forehead. Most cause mild to moderate pain, and are the result of
physical tension in the muscles of the neck, jaw and face. TMJ disorder,
spine misalignment, and bad posture are often the cause of tension headaches.
Migraine: This is the most painful type of headache, occurring on one side of the
head and often concentrated behind the eye. Migraine sufferers describe
a pounding, throbbing pain and a sensitivity to light and noise. Migraines
often last a few hours and result in nausea and vomiting, followed by
a deep sleep.
Cluster: Men are more likely than women to suffer from cluster headaches, which
occur in “clusters” or several times a day. They cause an
intense burning or piercing behind the eye, and sometimes last just 15
or 20 minutes. However, these daily “clusters” may occur over
a period of a week or more.
If you suffer from chronic headaches (of any type), talk with your doctor
about the best ways to treat them. Many patients have found relief with
prevention therapies, lifestyle changes, and injectable medications.