Types of Headaches

June is headache awareness month, so here are helpful facts about some of the different types of headaches.

  1. Cluster headaches. These headaches happen repeatedly over a period of time, called the “cluster period.” Typically, people who experience this type will have pain at the same time each year, such as in spring or fall. The cluster period usually lasts between two weeks and three months. They often occur at night. They can be more painful than migraines, but typically are shorter than migraines.
  2. Ocular migraines. These are very rare headaches. It is estimated that these headaches affect one in every 200 people who experience migraines. Ocular migraines can cause loss of vision for short periods of time. A doctor can diagnose these, and they are very often caused by other conditions.
  3. Sinus headaches. Your sinuses are spaces in your forehead. They drain through the nose. Due to allergies, tumors, or infections, the sinuses can become inflamed and swell, which causes more mucus to build and the nasal passages to be blocked. Sometimes, this can cause pain that feels like a headache. Treatment for these headaches depends on the cause. See your doctor with questions.
  4. Tension headaches. This is the most common type of headache. A tension headache causes pain in a band-like pattern across the forehead. They can last from 30 minutes to a few days. Typically, the more often they occur, the worse they are. Sleep deprivation, anxiety, hunger, emotional/mental stress, and depression are all common causes of tension headaches.

As always, see your doctor if you have questions about headaches. If you have a headache that worries you or that you think need treatment, see your doctor immediately.


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