Not all headaches are the same

Headaches are the most common type of pain. While painful, headaches rarely indicate an underlying serious illness. Though frequent headaches can interfere with daily life.

There are five types of headaches:

  • Muscle contraction/tension headache
  • Cluster headache
  • Migraine headache
  • Sinus headache
  • Hangover headache

The Muscle Contraction / Tension Headache

What is a tension headache?
The muscle contraction / tension headache is usually triggered by environmental or internal stress and stops when the stress is removed.

How to treat a tension headache
Take an over-the-counter pain reliever containing aspirin or acetaminophen (such as Goody’s Extra Strength).

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The Cluster Headache

What is a cluster headache?
Swelling of blood vessels in the head causes the Cluster Headache. This gives a very intense burning and piercing pain which may be throbbing or constant. During a cluster period, customers experience between one and four headaches a day. The headache reaches maximum intensity within 5 to 10 minutes and usually lasts 30-45 minutes, though duration may vary from a few minutes to several hours.

How to treat a cluster headache.
Consult your doctor for treatment if you have this type of headache.

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Migraine Headache

What is a migraine headache?
Symptoms are characterized by recurrent attakcs of severe pain with some of the following symptoms:

  • Intense throbbing headache, often on just one side of the head
  • Nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light, noise and/or smell
  • Tingling of the limbs

Unlike other headaches, migraines are a genetically inherited component in three-quarters of its sufferers. It will arise during childhood or adolescence and will manifest at the age of 30 and may then lessen in frequency and intensity after the age of 50. Two types of migraines are most common:

Common migraine accounts for 85 percent of all migraines. It starts with stiffness in the neck, which may already be present before gradually increasing in intensity. Non-specific symptoms including changes in mood, appetite, energy level or sense of well-being may precede headache by hours or days. Symptoms last from hours to days.

Classic migraine headache is preceded by sharply defined neurological warning symptoms known as aura 20 to 40 minutes before an attack. These frequently include visual disturbances such as blind spots, zigzag lines or double vision, which disappear as the headache appears.

Nausea, vomiting, and slowing of gastric emptying may accompany both types of migraine attack.

There are many contributing factors to migraines:

  • Stress
  • Certain foods
  • Lack of sleep
  • Strong emotions
  • Hormonal factors e.g. menstruation
  • Lack of food or long gaps between meals
  • Fatigue
  • Environment factors e.g. loud noise, strong smells, bright or flickering light

How to treat a migraine.

Consult your doctor for treatment if you have this type of headache

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The Sinus Headache

The sinuses are air-filled cavities inside the facial and skull bones, which produce mucous, resonate sound and reduce the weight of the skull. They are lined with mucous membranes continuous with the nasal passages. The sinus headache occurs when these mucous membranes become inflamed and the cavities clog with mucous. This inflammation is triggered by an allergy or a bacterial/viral infection, such as common cold, which starts in the nose and spreads to the sinuses through the connecting tubes. The resulting increased pressure inside the sinuses may result in a throbbing headache near the eyes, nose, teeth, and other parts of the head.

How to treat a sinus headache.
Several over-the-counter medications are used to treat the sinus headache such as acetaminophen and pseudoephedrine.

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The Hangover Headache

What is a hangover headache?
The over consumption of alcohol induces headaches due to dehydration, dilation of blood vessels, and even the chemicals found in drinks. Severity depends on the quantity and type of alcohol.

How to treat a hangover headache.
Drink plenty of water to re-hydrate your body. Over-the-counter pain relievers containing aspirin, acetaminophen and caffeine (such as Goody’s Extra Strength) are very effective at treating a hangover headache.

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