We’ve all experienced the throbbing, distracting discomfort of a headache. Headaches vary. Everybody gets headaches. Types of headaches differ in cause, duration, and severity.
Most Common Primary Headaches
Primary headaches typically involve head pain. Your headache isn’t going to be caused by illness or allergies.
These headaches can be episodic or chronic:
- Episodic headaches may occur up to 15 times a month. They might last 30 minutes to hours.
- Chronic headaches recur. More than 15 days every month. Pain treatment is needed in these circumstances.
Tension headaches cause a dull, agonizing pain across the head. Non-throbbing. Neck, forehead, scalp, or shoulder muscles may be irritated. Tension headaches are common, as stress causes them.
Cluster headaches are sharp and searing. They appear around, behind, or on one side of one eye. Signs include:
- swelling, redness, flushing, and sweating on the side that’s affected by the headache
- nasal congestion and eye tearing on the same side as the headache
Multiple headaches develop. Every headache lasts 15 minutes to 3 hours. Cluster headaches cause one to four headaches a day, generally simultaneously. Another headache shortly follows. Cluster headaches may last months. Symptom-free months separate clusters. Spring and autumn are cluster headache seasons. Men get them at three times the rate of women. Doctors don’t understand cluster headaches well.
Migraine pain pulses deeply in the brain, creating daylong discomfort. Migraine symptoms hinder regular tasks. You get throbbing, one-sided migraine discomfort, light and sound sensitivity, and possibly other symptoms, including nausea and vomiting.
Visual problems may precede migraines; this is called a migraine aura. Auras can also include tingling on one side of your face or in one arm and trouble speaking. One-third of people encounter these symptoms before headaches.
- flashing lights
- shimmering lights
- zigzag lines
- blind spots
Hemicrania continua is a mild, one-sided headache that lasts three months. It causes 1% of headaches with women having double the risk, according to researchers. Several times a day, you may sense greater intensity.
This headache may cause:
- tearing or eye redness
- nasal congestion or runny nose
- eyelid drooping
- forehead sweating
- restlessness or agitation
Ice pick headache
Primary stabbing, or ice pick headaches, are brief, sharp head sensations. These headaches might be