A Headache is one of the most common symptoms for a clinical presentation and it is one of the most common types of pain that people complain from.
A headache can be of various types and can be caused by many underlying health conditions. The location of its presentation, the character of the headache, and time and duration of its onset along with its variation with time and its frequency can provide important clues regarding its causes. Generally, the causes of a headache can be classified into a primary or a secondary cause.
A primary headache is not a symptom of an underlying health issue. The headache is the primary problem. It can be very discomforting and disabling for the patient but generally, primary headaches are not dangerous for the person.
Some of the common types of primary headaches along with their symptoms and treatment options are mentioned below.
This type of headache primarily originates from stress-related issues. It starts with the extended duration of stress resulting in muscular tension in head and neck muscles. This muscular tension in the neck and shoulder region is translated by the brain as a headache. Commonly, it presents with a tight bandlike pain around the head. It can occur on one or both sides of the head. It is improved by taking pain medications.
Usually, it is a throbbing one-sided type of headache. But it can occur on both sides of the head. The patient also may feel sick while suffering from this headache. Migraine headache is also associated with sensory disturbances. Common sensory issues include seeing flashes of light, seeing a blind spot or an aura around the visual field. Migraine headaches can be extremely disturbing for the patient. Many hormones related changes, stress, sensory issues, and weather changes can trigger a migraine. Pain medication and sleeping in a dark room help improve the condition.
It is a rare type of headache. In this type of headache, a patient suffers from episodic headache which occurs for weeks and months, and after that, resolves for weeks or months. The intense pain is accompanied by pain in the eye, redness in the eye and, stuffiness and redness in the nasal cavity. It commonly occurs on one side of the head. A smoking history, male gender, alcohol use during the cluster period, and a family history can increase the risk of one having a cluster headache.
It is a rare type of headache. It occurs only at night and it manifests as pain in the whole head, not restricted to one side or any specific part of the head. It lasts for 15-60 minutes and it is not associated with visual sensitivities like in migraine headache. It may not respond to usual pain medications.
Chronic daily headaches, exercise-related headaches, and cough headaches are some of the other types of primary headaches. Please note that these types of headaches can be a symptom of an underlying health condition too. Lifestyle factors like lack of sleep, poor posture, alcohol, and stress can also trigger primary headaches.