3 Headache Types & How to Tame Them

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April 16, 2013

Your head is pounding, but you’re not sure what it is or how to treat it. It could be a tension headache, a migraine, or even allergies. Find out the symptoms of each type of headache and the best way to deal with them … now and forever.

Tension Headache

Probably the most common headache and easily the most curable. The pain feels like an ache or pressure that can become intense as it radiates around the temples or at the back of the head and neck. The cause of this pain is often stress-related. Muscles in the neck and scalp can contract during stress and cause the head to ache. A tension headache won’t stop your day like a migraine but it can certainly feel like it might, if it gets worse.

Treatment: Ibuprofen, acetaminophen like Tylenol and aspirin can get the job done. And remember to drink lots of water.

Sinus Headache

When your sinuses are inflamed it is natural to think that an infection in the sinus cavity is the cause. Pain is intense in the sinus area and radiates upward between the eyes and in the forehead area. Fever and sometimes pus are present during this type of headache. A doctor can diagnosis you after viewing the sinus through a fiber-optic scope.

Treatment: Antibiotics prescribed by a doctor are needed in many cases but some sinus infections can be treated with decongestants and antihistamines.

Migraine Headache

For those who suffer from migraines the experience is excruciating. A migraine can last between 4-72 hours with symptoms that include medium-to-severe pain that can stop your day. Sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and/or vomiting can occur as well as throbbing pain or pain on one side of the head. Migraines can be hereditary so be sure to note not just the number of times you have had a headache like this but also alert your doctor if other family members suffer from these symptoms. Keeping a ‘headache journal’ can help find the triggers, list the symptoms and help you and your doctor find the best treatment.

Treatment: OTC medications like Excedrin, which contain caffeine and a pain-killer, can do the trick and zap a migraine. Herbal supplements like melatonin before bed can lessen the occurrence just like Vitamin B2, acupuncture and a low-fat diet. Sometimes only a prescribed medication using a triptan or beta-blocker can do the trick. Your doctor will have find the right prescription and dosage that works for you.

Whether it is a cluster headache, one caused by seasonal allergies or tension the trick is to think back and remember the triggers and symptoms to truly eradicate the headache and its cause so it won’t happen again.

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