What are the different types of Headaches

Posted On Dec 27, 2019

Department of Neurology

Manipal Hospitals

Headaches are the ordinary casualty of our modern lifestyle. Each of us has experienced headaches of varying degrees throughout our life. But some individuals are victims of headaches with increased frequency and intensity.

Although occasional headaches are inevitable, persistent headaches affect one’s ability to function and work normally.

While most headaches are just a nuisance, some headaches require thorough medical care and attention. Some headaches could be a symptom of the deeper nervous or cranial problem, which requires thorough medical care than popping an aspirin…

Tension Headache: –

In recent years, tension headaches have gained wide notoriety for being frequent and troublesome.  Mostly associated with busy professionals, tension headaches are associated with overstressed nervous system and eye strain. Other frequent reasons are lack of proper sleep and inadequate diet nutrition, which puts further stress on your neural network.

Cluster Headaches: –

The cluster headaches are a regular headache, which occurs due to straining of specific facial nerves known as trigeminal nerves. It initially occurs around specific points around the eye, which gradually spreads to other parts of the head. Pain due to cluster headaches is severe than usual headaches. These headaches may occur seasonally.

Sinus headaches: –

Sinuses headaches are the result of small air spaces in the skull known as sinuses getting filled with mucus due to prolonged cold. When mucus accumulates and stagnates, it could lead to blockage of nasal pathways or closure of normal air pathways. This leads to excess pressure along sensitive nervous fiber, raising a sensation of pain. While sinus headaches could have lower pain intensity, they could easily last much longer. While normally a sinus headache resolves with alleviation of cold, the situation escalates if mucus covering sinus pathways get infected.  Sinus infections cause surrounding tissue inflammation and accumulation of more mucus. In these cases, the patient may be required to be treated with antibiotics.

Rebound headaches: –

As the name indicates, rebound headaches are caused due to revival of previously suppressed headaches. Most commonly, headaches are caused due to aggravation in nervous tissues. Medications suppress pain due to headaches, rather than healing the damaged nervous system. After a concerned time window, headache rebounds with a higher vigor and intensity. The most commonly attributed reason is a decrease in blood medication levels, which stimulates pain. It’s also thought that over-straining of nervous tissues passes a critical point that cannot be suppressed by levels of previous medication.

Migraine headaches: –

Migraine headaches are the most notorious in terms of physiological impact and pain. Relatively long-lasting, they are characterized by severe pain focused on one side of the head. Gradually pain may spread to both sides of the head. Migraines are believed to be caused due to imbalance in the brain’s chemical neurotransmitters, which transmit messages between brain cells. Migraines are attributed to various sources such as allergic food, refrigerated food, chemical preservatives, and dairy products. It can also be a side-effect of overworking the brain, stress, or alcohol issues.

For effective headache treatment, the problem needs to be recognized and categorized according to its nature.  Understanding headache causation could be the difference-maker between finding a permanent solution and paving way for a rebound headache not to resurface.

Note. This article is intended for primary information about the nature of headaches. Reoccurring head pain needs expert medical attention and further tests.

What are the different types of Headaches