Be it that mild buzzing discomfort all around your forehead or that shooting pain of a migraine, headaches tend to get ignored pretty often. This is primarily because one feels they are common and not much cause for concern. Well, that probably needs to change if you’ve experienced even one of the following kinds of headaches, which could be an indication of a serious problem coming your way. The time to take care of yourself is now.
TYPES OF HEADACHES
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. It’s reported that 90% of people will experience one in their lifetime. They are the result of tightness, or tension, in the muscles of the upper back and neck usually caused by stress and fatigue.
The pain is mild to moderate and manifests itself through a dull pressure or tightness in the forehead. You can treat these headaches through natural relaxation methods like yoga, meditation, massage or even nap. If they persist, over the counter pain relievers are also an option.
This one is an excruciating attack that explodes behind one eye, reaches a crescendo after about an hour, and then vanishes—only to return in a day or so. This goes on for a few weeks, and then stops for months. Numerous drugs target clusters, including some of the migraine meds.
The good news about these headaches, says Dr. Holt, is that they’re all completely harmless. But not every aching head is a simple headache.
Migraines tend to hit one side of the head, and can last from several hours to several days. They’re usually marked by a sensitivity to sound and light. When a migraine strikes, you can manage it with Advil Migraine or Motrin Migraine Pain (both ibuprofen medications) or Excedrin Migraine (a combination of aspirin, acetaminophen, and caffeine).
Sinus headaches happen as a result of an acute sinus infection. The symptoms of a sinus headache are pain around the nose and eyes, a runny nose and fever. The pain can range from mild to severe, and the best treatment is over the counter pain relievers and sinus medications.
There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately regarding concussion and sport, specifically within the NFL. It’s hard to avoid headaches in many contact sports including hockey, boxing, football, and rugby.
The headaches can manifest themselves through a tension or migraine type symptoms. The National Headache Foundation says, “Serious diseases may cause early morning awakening headaches. These diseases may include brain tumors, sleep apnea, and severe high blood pressure.”
The pain and symptoms are varied, so it’s important to seek a proper diagnosis if you are experiencing frequent headaches following exercise or playing a sport.
If head pain hits you like a bolt out of nowhere, intensifying in a few minutes into the worst headache you’ve ever had, call 911. The list of causes for this kind of headache isn’t long (aneurysm, stroke, meningitis) but almost everything on it can be very quickly fatal, says Dr. Holt.
Thunderclap headaches are attention-getting and dramatic, and its symptoms include pain that:
– Starts to diminish after 60 seconds
– Can be accompanied by nausea, vomiting or loss of consciousness
– Is constant, lasting anywhere from an hour and ten days
– Strikes severely without warning
– Involves the neck, lower back or head
Headaches could be associated with anything from psychological discrepancies, medical problems, stress, tension and a host of other problems. Regardless, headaches should never be taken lightly as a common occurrence, especially if the problem is persistent.