An ordinary headache is something most people have experienced: for some luckier ones, it’s a rare occurrence, while for others the painful episodes are a more frequent parts of their lives.
And when we got one, most of us repeat one common mistake: immediately taking a painkiller without bothering to even try to eliminate the source.
Aspirin or any other over-the-counter medications are widely available, inexpensive, and they temporarily ease the suffering. However, although we might think their use is not accompanied by any side effects, it actually is.
Headaches can be more complex than most of us realize. Various kinds possess their own sets of symptoms, occur for unique reasons, and need different kinds of treatment.
Therefore, when it comes to treating headaches, it all comes down to what type of a headache you are dealing with.
There are approximately 150 different types of headaches, and some of the most common ones are:
1. Tension – type headaches
The most common type of a headache among adults and teens feels like you are wearing a helmet that is continuously getting smaller. The pressure it causes can variate between mild and intense. They tend to either occur daily or just come and go over time, without any other specific symptoms.
This condition is accompanied by intense headaches which are often described as pounding, throbbing pain. They can last from anything between 4 hours to 3 days and usually occur one to four times per month. Besides the pain, people often experience a particular sensitivity to light, noise and numerous smells. Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite and upset stomach or a belly pain are also among the main symptoms.
3. Cluster headaches
Men are more likely than women to have cluster headaches, which have been linked to alcohol and smoking. The telltale symptom is intense pain centered in or around one eye, making the eye bloodshot and teary. It’s the least common but the most severe type of headache. The pain can be so severe, that many people experiencing it cannot sit still and often pace during an attack. Cluster headaches usually go away after an hour or so, but they may return several times during one day. Over-the-counter pain relievers seldom help, but several types of prescription medication, including indomethacin and ergotamine, are successful in treating cluster headaches.
4. Sinus headaches
5. Hormone headaches
These are especially common during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause. The hormone changes from birth control pills also trigger headaches in some women.
Thus, if you experience any of the symptoms mentioned above, be sure to visit your doctor in order to get an accurate diagnosis.