Types of Headaches
There are many diverse categories of headaches. But it’s still possible to distinguish a few key types of headaches:
- Tension Headache: It’s the most frequent type of headaches which the majority of people have to deal with from time to time. In some cases, people feel tension headaches nearly from day to day. And this headache turns into a chronic one. This kind of headache is typically characterized with constant muscle tension and pressure, which involve both sides of the head as well as sometimes the back of the neck. This type pf headache resembles a feeling that emerges when a band grips the head.
- Hormone Headache: Hormones are very crucial for the normal pain response mechanism that helps overcome both female and male headaches. But the women are much more prone to hormone headaches, called menstrual migraines. Such headaches typically begin prior to a menstrual cycle or during it. During them, the women feel acute pain on one side of the head. These headaches may be also accompanied with nausea and vomiting.
- Cluster Headache: This headache category refers to the men to a greater extent than to the women. Such headaches are characterized with high severity. Their duration varies from 30 to 45 minutes. People may experience a few attacks of such pain per day. These attacks happen suddenly so that no one can predict them. The pain is typically keen and touches on only one side of the head, frequently surrounding the eye area. One of the symptoms of cluster headache is teary eyes. It’s a repeatable pain, occurring always on the same side of head.
There are many sensations which may describe any headache. But there are even more causes which may contribute to the development of headaches. The most frequent headache causes include:
- Psychological issues such as stress, depression, anxiety, and irritation
- Sleep deprivation which in its turn is fraught with constant fatigue and exhaustion
- Excessive alcohol intake
- Poor nutrition which is loaded with processed foods and food additive but still can be corrected with the medically proven weight loss supplements
- Severe hunger
- Refusal from caffeine
- Susceptibility to weather changes
- Inhalation of cigarette smoke
- Specific smells
- Exposure to the sunlight or flashing lights
- Intake of some prescription drugs including nitroglycerin and artificial estrogen
- Sudden interruption of caffeine-rich medication use
Symptoms of Headaches
There is a variety of headache types. Headaches are also classified as primary and secondary ones. While primary headaches are known as cluster headaches, tension headaches, and migraine, secondary headaches are the manifestations of different medical conditions. The coexisting diseases can be both major and minor ones. But regardless of headache type and cause, it’s possible to distinguish the following most common symptoms of headaches:
- Photophobia which means the increased eye sensitivity as a result of the eyes’ exposure to the bright lights
- Feeling of scalp hurting while touching the hair
- Feeling of a heavy head
Severity of headache symptoms may exacerbate in people who suffer from depression and anxiety.
The headache symptoms may also become especially strong in women whose hormone fluctuations are frequent, sudden, and dramatic.
This is typical for the women who are already approaching menopause.
When to See a Doctor
If you have a headache, it doesn’t mean that you should immediately run to a doctor. But in some cases, it’s still necessary to consult the healthcare provider.
If the frequently occurring headaches drastically worsen the quality of your life and your weekly headache medicine dosage exceeds two pills, then it’s recommended to visit your family physician.
If you are diagnosed with severe obesity treated with both medications and OTC fat burners, the risk of having episodic or chronic migraine considerably grows. If these migraines become too much disturbing, you should go to a healthcare practitioner who will not only control your obesity pharmaceutical treatment and appetite suppressants intake but also tackle the issue of migraines.
If you have been already suffering from headaches for a long time but the headache peculiarities have substantially and inexplicitly changed recently, it’s advisable to talk to your doctor. The matter is that such changes in headaches may be a sign of dangerous diseases like aneurysm and brain tumor.
To properly diagnose a headache, the healthcare provider should first of all precisely study your medical history. This is what actually headache diagnosis is primarily based on.
The doctors also try to find out the most important information about the headache you are experiencing. Thus, the medical expert should know:
- How often you have the headache
- How severe the headache is
- Where exactly it the headache is located
- What type of painful sensations in the head you have
The doctors also have a range of the innovative diagnostic techniques for diagnosing headaches at their disposal. The special tests used for diagnosing headaches demonstrate the highest efficacy when it comes to diagnosing secondary headaches. They are as follows:
- CT scan
- Spinal tap
- Digital subtraction angiography
- Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
- Eye exam
However, some additional testing may also be required in each particular case of a headache.
Classification of Headaches
The International Headache Society created the up-to-date classification of headaches in 2013. Millions people all over the world experience headaches every day and want to resolve this issue. Since it’s often a complicated task to cure a headache, this well thought-out headache classification system was aimed at facilitating the work of doctors who need to determine the type of a headache correctly and prescribe necessary treatment.
The classification guidelines are very detailed. That’s why the Headache Society advises the medical specialists to refer to these guidelines every time these specialists have to diagnose a headache.
It’s possible to distinguish three main headache categories taking into account the pain source:
1. Primary headaches
This category of headaches doesn’t imply the availability of any other disease that might be a cause of headache. The primary headaches are as follows:
- Cluster headache
- Tension headache
- New daily persistent headaches (NDPH)
2. Secondary headaches
Secondary headaches are not standalone. They are the symptoms of certain medical conditions including:
- Diseases affecting brain blood vessels
- Head injury
- Infectious diseases
- Sinus congestion
- Medication overuse
3. Cranial neuralgias, central and primary facial pain, and other headaches
There are many kinds of headache which fall within this category. Here are just a few to mention some of them:
- Neck-tongue syndrome
- Cold-stimulus headache
- Optic neuritis
- Nervus intermedius neuralgia
- Persistent idiopathic facial pain
- Central post-stroke pain
The International Headache Society guidelines emphasize that the existing headache symptoms may also indicate not one, but two or even more types of headaches. A few types of headaches can coexist simultaneously, but the use of all-natural testosterone boosters doesn’t have any influence on these headaches and can’t aggravate them.
When Headache Requires Emergency Care
In many cases, headaches don’t demand the immediate doctor’s consultation and refusal from the intake of any natural remedies like the OTC carb blockers. But there are the situations when headache characteristics become very untypical and can be accompanied with other signs which may signal of very dangerous or life-endangering medical conditions. It’s necessary to immediately refer to the emergency department under the following circumstances:
- Sudden explosive or excruciating headache
- Headache that doesn’t respond to ordinary treatment and aggravates with time
- Very strong headache accompanied with eye pain, ear pain, confusion, fever, and neck stiffness
- Persistent headache provided that a person has never suffered from such a pain before
- Duration of headache exceeds 72 hours and headache stops for less than 4 hours within the awakening period
- Nausea, vomiting, and seizures
- Loss of consciousness
- Sudden speech problems such as slurred speech, vision deterioration, inability to move one side of the body
If you have some of the above mentioned symptoms along with severe headache, you must seek emergency care without any delay because there can be a threat to your life. This may save not only your health but also life.
If you incurred a head injury, you have to instantly search for medical assistance even in case of no headache.
If a strong headache doesn’t let you fall asleep, awakens you at night, or becomes more severe after awakening, you have to schedule the doctor’s appointment as soon as possible as well.
Headache Treatment and Relief
The development of a well thought-out headache treatment plan is crucial for people who experience consistent headache for a long time. This plan should be adjusted for each particular case depending on the patient’s medical history and type of headache.
The effective headache plan should include the following categories:
- Relief: The treatment methods are targeted at alleviating annoying and torturing pain which impedes all daily activities.
- Prevention: The treatment options which will give a person an opportunity to prevent the onset of headache.
- Lifestyle changes: This category should pinpoint the recommendations on how to avoid headache triggers and not to allow the occurrence of headaches. These recommendations may include exercising along with the intake of OTC HGH supplements and adhering to a healthy nutrition plan.
- Complementary medicine strategies: These strategies feature a high potential to serve the auxiliary way to tackle the issue of headaches.
- Inpatient care: In some cases, the acute headache sufferers may require inpatient treatment which can’t be ensure in the outpatient environment.
If a person chronically suffers from headache, this pain becomes exhausting and excruciating. The choice of headache treatment methods is determined with the type of headache.
Depending on the headache type, it’s possible to distinguish the following treatment approaches:
- Tension Headache Treatment
The duration of these so-called hatband headaches may vary from several hours to several days. The best tension headache relief options include but are not limited to:
- Physical therapy
- Antidepressants like selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI)
- Muscle-relaxing drugs like carisoprodol and metaxalone
- Prescription medications like ketorolac and indomethacin
- Non-prescription pain relief medications like aspirin and ibuprofen
- Cluster Headache Treatment
Cluster headaches are typically short-lasting with a duration varying from 20 minutes to 2 hours. They are often accompanied with watery eyes and stuffiness. The most efficient cluster headache treatment methods include but are not limited to:
- Injectable drugs like sumatriptan and dihydroergotamine
- Prescription nasal sprays like zolmitriptan
- Preventive medications like calcium channel blockers
- Local anesthetics like lidocaine
- Oxygen therapy implying pure oxygen inhalations