Different Types of Headaches: Understanding Symptoms, Causes and more

by K_Parks

Throbbing, pounding, aching - all symptoms of a headache but what's the cause? Find out what could be causing your headaches and empower yourself to help prevent them.

Headaches affect millions of people worldwide on a daily basis. The cause of these headaches can vary greatly from one sufferer to the next as can the best approach to treat and eliminate each of the individual types of headaches.

What are the Most Common Types of Headaches

Different people, different lifestyles, different triggers often times equates to different causes and types of headaches.

Tension and or Stress Headaches

Rebound Headaches

Exercise Headaches

Cluster Headaches

Migraine Headaches

Less Common and More Serious Headache Causes

Brain Tumor

Exercise Headaches

Secondary exercise related headaches are often serious and require immediate medical attention. These headaches can be caused by serious and fatal factors including both tumors or bleeding. 

Coping with a Headache
Coping with a Headache

Most Common Causes of the Different Types of Headaches

Causes of Migraine Headaches can vary greatly and include: change in sleeping habits, certain foods, strong smells and odors, natural and unnatural light (typically those that are bright and cause glares), tension, hormonal and chemical changes within the body. Because of the association with hormonal changes in the body migraines can tend to be more common in pregnant and menstruating women.

Causes of Cluster Headaches is widely unknown but thought to involve abnormalities in the hypothalamus according to the Mayo Clinic (mayoclinic.com). There are some suggestions that certain medications such as some heart related medicines may bring about the onset of cluster headaches.

Causes of Tension Headaches may include stress and over exertion although there is no concrete medical study that has yet been able to identify any specific or direct cause of these types of headaches.

Causes of Sinus Headaches typically involve exposure to allergens which can include airborne, food and other allergy triggers. These can cause swelling as well as other reactions that create the onset of sinus headaches. Other causes can include colds, flues and other infections.

Causes of Rebound Headaches can include several factors such as regular or over use of several medications as well as regular ingestion of caffeine. The most common medications associated with the cause for these types of headache are: aspirin, prescription and non prescription headache/migraine medications and opiate based medications. Some of the most common ingredients amongst the different medications are: aspirin and caffeine though these are not the only ingredients thought to be associated with the cause. According to the Mayo Clinic NSAID's are less likely to cause a rebound headache.

Causes of Headache Associated with Brain Tumors are not typically caused by the tumor itself yet by complications and effects caused by the tumor such as fluid build up or the increased pressure that can occur with brain tumors.

Causes of Headache Associated with Aneurysm are usually the result of blood being leaked or pressure being applied to the brain, nerves or other areas by larger aneurysms. A headache caused by an aneurysm can be indicative of a life threatening condition and requires immediate medical attention.

Location of the Pain and Types of Headaches Commonly Associated

Pain/Headaches in the back of the head: migraine, tension, cluster

Painful pressure in the forehead or between the eyes: migraine, rebound, sinus, tension

Throbbing at the top or sides of the head: migraines

Pounding headache at the temples: migraines

Pounding/Throbbing pain: migraine

Dull Ache throughout: tension, rebound,

Pressure: sinus, tension

Eye Pain: cluster, sinus, migraine, tension

Common Indicators Among the Different Types of Headaches and Migraines That May Indicate Something more Serious.

Nausea and Vomiting can occur with different types of headaches but are seen more often with migraines and more serious headaches.

Light Sensitivity is quite common in those suffering from painful migraines but is known to occur with more serious and even less serious types of headaches.

Dizziness, and Double Vision, when related to a headache, are seen most often with migraine attacks, cluster headaches, sinus headaches and more serious headaches associated brain tumors or aneurysms.

Warning and Disclaimer

Some headaches can be indicative of serious conditions that can only be treated and or diagnosed by professional medical doctors or specialists. Consult your physician before starting any headache remedies or treatments whether natural or unnatural.

This article is not intended to treat, diagnose, advice or cure any medical condition. Consult your doctor to learn about your treatment and diagnosis options.

Consulting your physician can help you to identify the type or types of headaches that you are experiencing and help you to determine the best treatment and remedies to help you cope with or prevent the onset of headaches and migraines. Because of the variety of types of headaches and the different levels of severity it is important to see a doctor right away if you experience any abnormal, recurring, sudden onset or debilitating headaches.

Updated: 03/31/2012, K_Parks
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katiem2 on 04/01/2012

This is one great resource for headaches and all the various reasons and causes of the types of headaches. Useful as we all experience headaches from time to time. Thanks

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