Headache is arguably the most common reasons people seek medical attention. Headache happens as a result of activation of pain-sensitive structures in or around the brain, skull, face, sinuses , or teeth.
Headache may occur as a primary disorder or presents as secondary to another disorder. Secondary headache has many causes ranging from infections to eye defects, fever or overuse of drugs.
In this article, we will be focusing on the 4 most common types of primary headache.
1. CLUSTER HEADACHE
Cluster headache occurs more among men between age 20 to 40 years. It’s usually episodic, may recur over a period of several weeks or months. Cluster headache usually affects a side of the head and come with symptoms such as intense pain, running nose, eye pains and swelling, eyelid drooping, restlessness etc.
The exact cause of cluster headaches is unknown, but the patterns suggest that abnormalities in the hypothalamus play a role. Cluster headache generally isn’t associated with triggers, such as foods, hormonal changes or stress.
Migraine is the most common cause of recurrent moderate to severe headache. Migraine attacks often last from 4 hours to several days. Could be episodic or chronic.
Migraine is more than a headache, comes with associated symptoms such as nausea, vomiting (occasional), photophobia (sensitivity to light), sonophobia (sensitivity to sound), osmophobia (sensitivity to odour). Migraine have significant impact on quality of life of the patient, causing discomfort and loss of productivity.
3. TENSION TYPE HEADACHE
A constant ache around the head, most especially at the temples can rightly be classified as tension headache. Almost everyone experiences this type of headache. Unlike migraines, tension headaches usually don’t present with aura (no nausea, no vomiting). You may still be able to carry on with your normal daily activities and get quick relieve from pain relieve medications.
4. LOW PRESSURE HEADACHE
Low pressure headache is associated with alterations in the pressure and volume of the cerebrospinal fluid. The headache typically occurs when patients stand upright and observed most frequently after a lumbar puncture or a spontaneous or traumatic cerebrospinal fluid leakage.
Factors that may put you at risk of CSF leak includes coughing, sneezing, head or facial injuries. Low pressure headache are usually intended often accompanied by neck pain, vomiting. Lying complete flat can help relieve the symptoms.
Over the counter pain relievers are generally used to treat all type of headaches, however some headache may require specific treatment approach. If your symptoms persist or got worse after 3 days, kindly seek medical attention for proper diagnosis and treatment.
The Merck Manual of Diagnosis and Therapy