Have you ever wondered what the most common types of headache are? We are here to clear that mystery up, so you can to identify yours and treat it appropriately.
Dull pains in the upper area of the face could signal a sinus headache. These pains are caused by infection or fever, which both cause blockages in the nasal passages—commonly referred to as sinusitis. Symptoms are usually felt on one side of the face and may worsen when you move your head or switch between extreme temperatures. Another indication of a sinus headache is the production of green or yellow mucus from the nose; your face may even show signs of swelling. The first course of action is to drink plenty of fluids and rest. Decongestant nasal sprays can help to unblock the passages causing discomfort in the face. It is important to contact your local doctor if painkillers cannot control this sort of headache or it persists for over a week.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headaches and are triggered by muscle contractions. They tend to be mild or moderate in regards to pain. While paracetamol or aspirin can be taken as relief, these should be used sparingly. The pain is usually located on the forehead, at the back of the neck and behind the eyes. A number of stressors such as smoking, fatigue, stress, poor posture, dehydration and flu can all cause tension headaches to appear. You may wish to consider a lifestyle change if you feel your headaches becoming more frequent—consuming a healthy diet or trying yoga can help. If your headaches become very frequent, you should consult a medical practitioner who may be able to suggest some stronger pain relief.
A large amount of headaches in women are caused by hormonal imbalances. The NHS has reported that approximately five million women in the UK experience hormone headaches each month. This could be a result of the period cycle or a contraceptive pill. This type of headache will usually worsen as your period approaches—try keeping a diary to pinpoint exactly when yours begins. Your doctor may prescribe anti-migraine medication, oestrogen therapy or a change in contraceptive or hormone replacement therapy.
Cluster headaches are usually very severe. More often than not, the pain will be located in the vicinity of the eye. Symptoms of this type of headache can also include flushing of the face, nose congestion and tearing of the eyes. This variety of pain may start during sleeping periods but can also be present during the day. The most common cause of cluster headaches is excessive smoking or alcohol intake. If you frequently experience cluster headaches you should report it to a doctor who can prescribe the right medication. You may be offered oxygen, calcium channel blockers or an intranasal application of local anesthetic agent.
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If you experience a pain that spans across the ‘hairband’, this may be a hypertension headache. This discomfort may appear in the morning and eventually disappear as the day goes on. Hypertension headaches are caused by abnormally high blood pressure and, therefore, are usually resolved through pressure-lowering medication. Dietary changes to improve blood pressure—alongside appropriate medication from your doctor—may be a step in the right direction.
One of the most common types of headache is caused by caffeine. Those who have a regular intake of caffeine—whether it is through tea or energy drinks—can often experience withdrawals if this is suddenly restricted or stopped. This type of headache can also be triggered if an individual has a caffeine overload, allergy or varied consumption. In these cases, the best course of action is to undergo a caffeine detox, drink plenty of water and take pain relief medication. Consuming more caffeine may seem like an easy fix, but is not a recommended option.
This type of headache can generally be felt in the sinus area; but it can also involve watery eyes and nasal congestion. It is sparked from an allergic reaction, usually during or after other symptoms appear. Allergens such as pollen and moulds are the usual culprits in this case because they affect the respiratory system. Staying hydrated and taking antihistamines will usually resolve the issue. Steroidal treatment or injections may be necessary if your symptoms become more severe.
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