Dear R.G.: There are many different types of headaches including tension headaches, migraine headaches, sinus headaches and cluster headaches. Although not all headaches are the same, they all share at least one thing in common — they cause pain. But many headaches also cause other unwanted symptoms, including nausea and vomiting.
People with tension headaches commonly report mild to moderate pain, constant band-like pain, pressure or throbbing in the front, top or sides of the head. Pain usually begins gradually, and often occurs in the middle of the day. Pain may last from 30 minutes to several days.
Chronic migraine is defined as having a migraine headache 15 or more days a month, according to the researchers. A migraine is a recurrent throbbing headache that typically affects one side of the head and is often accompanied by nausea and disturbed vision. About 38 million people in the United States have migraines, and between 3 and 7 million have chronic migraine headaches.
Cluster headache symptoms include intense one-sided pain described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant. Pain is located behind one eye or in the eye region, without changing sides. Pain lasts a short time, generally 30 to 90 minutes (but can last for three hours); the headache will disappear, only to recur later that day (most sufferers get one to three headaches per day during a cluster period). Headaches occur very regularly, generally at the same time each day, and they often awaken the person at the same time during the night.
Sinus headache symptoms include deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement or straining and usually occurs with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.
For anyone who endures frequent headaches or severe migraines, preventing these painful episodes is a top concern. Experts don’t know exactly what causes headaches. But they have been able to identify lifestyle changes and mediations to help treat and prevent them. Contact your doctor or health provider for more information.