Information and Support

What are the different types of headaches?

There are two different categories for headaches: primary and secondary. Primary headache is an actual clinical condition and not a symptom of or caused by another disorder. Primary headaches include migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache. Secondary headaches are caused by other medical conditions, such as sinus disease, allergies, dental disorders, head injury, or brain tumors.

Migraine

A migraine headache usually lasts one day and recurs once to several times per month. Typical migraine headaches are one-sided, pulsating, moderate or severe pain, worse with activity, and associated with nausea and sensitivity to light and/or noise. Some patients experience an aura (a neurological symptom that gradually develops over 5 to 20 minutes and usually lasts less than 60 minutes) before their headache.

Who suffers from headache?

Headache is among the most common pain complaint seen in primary care doctors' offices. As many as 45 million Americans suffer from headaches. Tension-type and migraine headaches are the most common, and cluster headache is the most rare. It is important to seek medical care for headaches because, if treated correctly, more than 85% of headaches will respond to treatment.

What causes headaches?

Headaches have a tendency to run in families. Specifically, inherited patterns are seen clearly with some types of migraine. Children of migraine sufferers also are more likely to experience migraine headaches. This is why family history is important when evaluating someone with headache.

Headaches can be triggered or made more severe when sufferers are exposed to specific environmental factors, such as strong odors like cigarette smoke or perfume. Specific aspects of one's diet (beverages, meals, snacks) also may trigger headache. For example, low blood sugar as seen with prolonged fasting or extensive dieting may lead to increased headaches.

Common Environmental Triggers

Common Dietary Triggers

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Please consult your physician before using this or any other product that is designed to help relieve a symptoms or condition.