Headaches are the most common disorder of the nervous system and can occur in anyone at any age for a variety of reasons. The feeling can range from a dull ache to sharp, painful sensations. Headaches can be felt in any region of the brain, face or skull. Most causes of headaches are not due to any underlying disease and can occur sporadically due to an activity or environment. In some cases, chronic headaches can be a symptom of a more serious health condition.
Symptoms of a Headache
People experience different symptoms when it comes to headaches. A doctor can determine the appropriate action to take based on the headache’s symptoms. The common signs of headaches can be nausea, vomiting, dizziness, vertigo and sensitivity to light (photophobia). Individuals can also feel a tightness or a lot of pressure in their head.
Causes of a Headache
It’s important to understand what is causing headache pain. Each type of headache has different symptoms and requires specific forms of treatment. The most common cause for headache pain may be one of the following:
- Migraines are the most common type of headache. A person may experience nausea, dizziness, fatigue, blurred vision and sensitivity to color, light and sounds.
- Sinus headaches occur due to a viral upper respiratory infection called sinusitis or a cold. Along with fatigue and nasal congestion and discharge, people will feel pain and pressure in the cheekbones and forehead.
- Tension headaches tend to feel like a tight band around the head with dull and steady pain. The different types of tension headaches are: Episodic Tension Headaches Chronic Tension Headaches.
- Cluster Headaches are often described as an intense throbbing pain, specifically on one side of the head. The pain is normally behind or around the eye and can last 30 to 90 minutes. Cluster headaches can occur each day around the same time.
Headaches can be classified into one of these types:
- Primary headaches
- Secondary headaches
- Cranial neuralgias, facial pain and other headaches
Who Suffers from Headaches?
In the United States, around 15% of the population have complained of headache pain or migraines. Headaches and migraines are more prevalent in women than men, with women being twice as likely to experience the condition. According to a recent study, 18% of women, 6% of men and 10% of children suffer from migraines. People between the ages of 18 to 44 are more likely to experience migraines.