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Headaches: Common Types and How To Help Them

Updated: Jan 15

Headaches. Almost everyone will encounter an annoying and painful throbbing in their life. There are different types of headaches an individual can experience; determining which type will help you get rid of the pain. Continue reading to discover the common headache types and how to help them.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are frequent and severe headaches where you’ll feel intense burning and piercing pain. The pain will pop up behind one eye or one side of the face. The unfortunate part about cluster headaches is that they occur in a series. Each headache will last anywhere from 15 minutes to three hours. Once the first headache subsides, another will follow.

A sequence could last daily for months, and they appear at consistent times—meaning if you get one headache around noon one day, you can expect the next to occur around noon the next day. A few symptoms include a swollen eyelid, a watering eye, light sensitivity, sound sensitivity, and a runny or blocked nose.

Men are more likely to experience cluster headaches than women, and doctors are unsure what causes cluster headaches. Avoid smoking and alcohol if you experience cluster headaches. Vagus nerve and deep-brain stimulation can effectively help reduce these headaches. However, no known medication will help.

Tension Headaches

Stress often triggers tension headaches for many individuals. Most people will experience a tension headache at least once in their lifetime. You’ll feel a dull ache on both sides of the head, but it’s not throbbing. Tension headaches are more annoying than anything else.

You could experience sensitivity or tenderness around the scalp, forehead, neck, or shoulders. Luckily, there are ways to manage your tension headache effectively. Most over-the-counter painkillers will effectively reduce or stop the headache. Look for acetaminophen, aspirin, or ibuprofen, and keep them on hand. If the tension headaches become frequent (more than 15 days a month), you should talk to your doctor.

Ensure you’re getting enough rest and exercising regularly. These lifestyle habits can help reduce or eliminate tension headaches from your life.

Sinus or Allergy Headaches

Headaches can occur as a result of an allergic reaction. You’ll know because these headaches pop up in your sinus area, between your eyes and the front of your head. You’ll likely experience an allergy or sinus headache if you suffer from seasonal allergies.

Ensure you drink enough water and take your allergy medication during a sinus headache. Nasal decongestants are also great to use during this time. Talk to your doctor if the headache doesn’t clear up after a week.

Almost every human will experience headaches in their lifetime. Understanding your headache type will help you determine how to manage it correctly. Use the above guide as a reference when you’re dealing with one.

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