More people complain about headaches than any other medical ailment. There are approximately 45 million Americans complaining of headaches each year.
One of the most frustrating and excruciating experiences any person has to go through is headache. Aside from the painful sensations felt in the several areas of the head like temples, scalp and the forehead, headache may bring pain to the different parts of the face, throat, and mouth because of the series of nerves that extends one another.
Before taking in any medication or undergoing any treatment to bring relief to your aching head, make sure that you know first what are the different types of headache and possible causes of the common illness.
HOW ARE HEADACHES CATEGORIZED
Studies show that 90% of all types of headaches are classified as tension and muscle contraction. However, there most experts would agree that headache could be further classified into two broad categories: the primary and the secondary.
“Primary headache” includes migraine, cluster, and tension headache. Migraine headache are usually characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head, queasiness, over sensitivity to light and sound especially to bright lights and loud noises. Statistics say that 18 to 28 million Americans suffer from migraines and majority of which is women.
Aside from throbbing or pulsing pain, migraine is also characterized by visual disturbances, numbness of the face, nausea, and heavy vomiting. Usually triggered by food, stress, heat or cold temperature, strong smells, emotions, fatigue, or hormonal fluctuations, experts say that people who are anxious and depressed are more prone to migraine.
Tension headache, on the other hand, is considered as the common type of headache people suffer from. Characterized by a tight band of pressure around a person’s head, heavy throbbing of temples, light and sound sensitivity, vomiting, general muscle aches, difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep, chronic fatigue, irritability and disturbed concentration, tension headache is said is traced from physical or emotional stress.
Major lifestyle adjustments like having a regular physical activity or exercise, proper and balanced diet, proper stress management and maintaining good posture can help a person a lot to avoid tension headache.
If tension headache is the most common type of headache, cluster headache is the least common of all types. Greatly affecting men instead of women, cluster headaches are characterized by severe pain usually centered in one eye that leads to swelling and watering of the affected area and severe and unbearable pain in the head.
Triggered by alcohol and cigarettes, experts say that there is no concrete cause of this type yet. Treatment may include taking in medications similar to those used for migraine like sumatriptan, triptans, and the like.
The other classification of headache is called “secondary headaches.” Usually triggered by an underlying or existing disorder like infection, injury, or tumor, secondary headaches are known to be results major illnesses.
Secondary headaches are also considered as side effects of various disorders like a recent head injury, meningitis, sinus infection, brain tumor, eye diseases, spinal injury, arthritis, and the inflammation of the arteries or temporal arteritis.
In order to treat any types of headaches, make sure you get your physician’s advice first.