Different Types Of Headaches And Their Causes

By: Low Jeremy

Before taking in any medication or undergoing any treatment to bring relief to your aching head, make sure that you know first what are the different types of headache and possible causes of the common illness.

HOW ARE HEADACHES CATEGORIZED

Studies show that 90 percent of all types of headaches are classified as tension and muscle contraction. However, there most experts would agree that headache could be further classified into two broad categories: the primary and the secondary.

Primary headache includes migraine, cluster, and tension headache. Migraine headache are usually characterized by throbbing pain on one side of the head, queasiness, over sensitivity to light and sound especially to bright lights and loud noises. Statistics say that 18 to 28 million Americans suffer from migraines and majority of which is women.

Aside from throbbing or pulsing pain, migraine is also characterized by visual disturbances, numbness of the face, nausea, and heavy vomiting. Usually triggered by food, stress, heat or cold temperature, strong smells, emotions, fatigue, or hormonal fluctuations, experts say that people who are anxious and depressed are more prone to migraine.

Tension headache, on the other hand, is considered as the common type of headache people suffer from. Characterized by a tight band of pressure around a person's head, heavy throbbing of temples, light and sound sensitivity, vomiting, general muscle aches, difficulty in falling asleep and staying asleep, chronic fatigue, irritability and disturbed concentration, tension headache is said is traced from physical or emotional stress.

Major lifestyle adjustments like having a regular physical activity or exercise, proper and balanced diet, proper stress management and maintaining good posture can help a person a lot to avoid tension headache.

If tension headache is the most common type of headache, cluster headache is the least common of all types. Greatly affecting men instead of women, cluster headaches are characterized by severe pain usually centered in one eye that leads to swelling and watering of the affected area and severe and unbearable pain in the head.

Triggered by alcohol and cigarettes, experts say that there is no concrete cause of this type yet. Treatment may include taking in medications similar to those used for migraine like sumatriptan, triptans, and the like.

The other classification of headache is called secondary headaches. Usually triggered by an underlying or existing disorder like infection, injury, or tumor, secondary headaches are known to be results major illnesses.

Secondary headaches are also considered as side effects of various disorders like a recent head injury, meningitis, sinus infection, brain tumor, eye diseases, spinal injury, arthritis, and the inflammation of the arteries or temporal arteritis.

In order to treat any type of headache, experts advise that you must know the possible causes first. Studies show that all types of headaches are usually chemical, emotional, or structural related problems.

1. Dental problems. One of the most common reasons of headaches is dental problem. Findings prove that if the teeth of a person's upper and lower jaw fail to meet properly, this can result to muscle tension that leads to headache.

Another dental-related cause of headache is the grinding or clenching of the teeth at night or bruxism. Because of the strain caused by heavy chewing or grinding, certain bones and muscles in the jaw are greatly stimulated that triggers headache.

What you can do is to increase your calcium and magnesium intake or use a plastic mouthpiece to reduce clenching and grinding. Aside from bruxism, another headache-related dental problem is known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD) cycle of pain, muscle spasms, and joint imbalance that involves the jaw and the skull and results to interruption of bones, cartilage and muscle activity. You can ask your dentist to evaluate this situation and recommend treatment options to solve the problem.

2. Chemical sensitivities. Chemicals found in different gadgets such as computers are one of the major triggers of headaches such as migraine.

Caffeine that is usually found in sodas, coffee, tea, chocolate, and some over the counter painkillers can also cause headaches. Try to eliminate all the sources of caffeine from your diet.

3. Magnesium deficiency. If a person suffers from magnesium deficiency, he/she may likely suffer from headaches compared to those who are not.

In order to maintain enough magnesium supply, avoid too much mental stress, drinking lots of coffee, eating sugary foods, a high sodium, carbohydrate and calcium diet, alcohol intake, drinking sodas, cigarette smoking, diuretics, and taking in drugs of all types.

4. Infections and bacterial disease. Infections in the different areas of the body such as the nose, throat, and ear can cause major headache.

Characterized by fever, nausea, muscle aches, chills, and diarrhea, Bacterial disease such as ehrlichiosis can be a major cause of headache. Make sure that you visit your physician to get proper treatment.

5. Muscle tension caused by stress and anxiety. Tensioned muscles usually cause headaches. What you can do is to veer away from things that can cause you stress and anxiety in order to avoid recurrent muscle tension.

6. Musculoskeletal system problems. Misalignments of a person's spine and neck can greatly affect his/her poor posture and muscle tension that lead to headache. Try chiropractic, osteopathy, and physiotherapy treatments to solve this problem.

7. Eye problems. Various eye problems greatly contribute to headache. Visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist is your eyes need glasses or contact lenses already.

8. Lack of sleep and bad sleeping habits. Without enough sleep, your body is always tired. Muscle tension can build up which leads to headaches. Try to get enough hours of sleep and make sure that you eliminate bad sleeping habits such as using too many pillow or pulling a blanket over your to avoid having a headache.

9. Menstruation. Fluctuations of female's hormone levels can also cause a great deal of headache. You can ask your doctor for helpful vitamins and supplements to solve this cause.

10. Neurological problems. Although it is a rare cause of headache, ask neurologists to examine you for possible brain tumors.

By conducting a series of tests such as CT or MRI, you can trace the possible cause of your recurrent headache. Other causes include migraine, sinusitis, fevers, glaucoma, and neuralgia. Other serious causes of headache may include meningitis, sub-arachnoid haemorrhage, stroke, blood pressure, brain tumor, and temporal arteritis.

Headaches
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Headaches
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles