Types of Headache

Types of headache

Types of Headache and its nature

With mobile and the internet becoming an integral part of daily life, headaches are becoming more common than ever. No matter the age, sex, or lifestyle, headaches seem to be a general problem. It’s very advisable to know common symptoms and available treatments for some of the most common forms of headache.  

Some common types of headaches

  • Migraine Headache

  • Tension Headache

  • Cluster Headache

  • Exertional Headache

  • Sinus Headache

  • Caffeine related headache

  • Menstrual Headache

  • Hypertension headache


Migraine Headache 

Characterized by severe, throbbing pain on just one side of the head, migraine is the most common headache. Symptoms include seeing zig-zagging lines, partial loss of vision, and numbness. Generally triggered by stress, loud noise, skipped meals, and dehydration. 

Apart from the prescribed medication, one should place ice packs on the forehead and rest in a dark, quiet place.

  • Females are 3 times more prone to migraine as compared to males.

  • Attack frequency ranges from several times a week to once a year.


Tension Headache

The patient feels a constant dull pain on both sides of the head. Sensitivity to light and sound and pressure behind the eyes are other symptoms. Stress, anxiety, lack of exercise, poor sleep, and depression aggravate the pain.

  • Lasts typically from 30 mins to several hours.

  • If pain persists for more than 15 days past few months, one should seek medical attention.


Cluster Headache 

Attacks occur in clusters that last for weeks or months. People experience a burning sensation behind one eye. Swollen eyelids, watering eyes, and restlessness should be taken as other common symptoms. 

Patients should avoid alcohol during attacks and keep themselves hydrated.

  • More likely to occur in smokers. 

  • Males are more likely to develop cluster headaches than females.

  • Lasts between 15 mins to 3 hours.


Exertional Headache: 

Excessive workout sessions, weight-lifting, running, and sexual intercourse might lead to Exertional headaches. Pain is felt throughout the head and is usually short-lived. 

Painkillers and non-steroidal, anti-inflammatory drugs before sessions can be helpful.


  • Duration is a few hours to 2 days.

  • Common in those with a family history of migraine.

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Sinus Headache

It is caused by swelling of the sinuses, which results from infection or allergy. The symptoms are excruciating, non-bearable pain around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. Other symptoms include nausea, fever, and a blocked nose.

 Antibiotics in case of bacterial infection or antihistamines are generally prescribed for allergies. Doctors may also recommend surgery. 

  • Usually accompanied by a thick, green, or yellow nasal discharge.

  • Pain may worsen with movements or straining.

Caffeine-related Headaches 

Excessive caffeine intake, say more than 5 cups daily, might lead to headaches. People in the habit of taking more than 200 mg of caffeine daily might develop withdrawal symptoms.

Caffeine intake provides immediate relief but is no long-term solution.

  • Develops within 24 hrs after stopping abruptly.

  • Reducing intake gradually decreases the risk of a headache.

Menstrual Headache  

In women, migraine is linked with periods due to estrogen level variations. Develop just before or during periods; symptoms are similar to migraine. These headaches may develop after using oral contraceptives, menopause, and pregnancy at some points. Treatment is the same as that of migraine.

  • Alternative oral contraceptive plans, such as omitting the pill-free break, can help.

Hypertension headache

A high blood pressure patient is more likely to develop hypertension headaches. This headache usually occurs on both sides of the head and is typically worse with any activity. The patient may also experience changes in vision, numbness or tingling, nosebleeds, and shortness of breath.

These headaches go away soon after the blood pressure is under control.


Headache is generally not given much attention leading to chronic disorders. Timely diagnosis and thorough treatment must be addressed. Healthy lifestyle and meditation help in the permanent and subsistent cure of headaches.

A question to all: 

What type of headache do you generally experience in your lifestyle???


How much water should you have a day?

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