What are the Different Types of Headaches?

Sheri Cyprus

There are many different types of headaches, ranging in intensity from mild to very severe. Some of the most common types include migraine, ice cream, sinister, cluster, chronic, facial and tension.

Cluster headaches occur more often in smokers than non-smokers.
Cluster headaches occur more often in smokers than non-smokers.

Tension, or muscle contraction, headaches quite common and are usually fairly mild. Pain and pressure are felt all across the head and the scalp may feel tender as well. Facial headaches include sinusitis. This usually causes pain between the eyes and in the mouth. The pain is often increased when the head is lowered. Some cause jaw or cheek pain.

Eye strain stemming from computer work may cause headaches.
Eye strain stemming from computer work may cause headaches.

Chronic headaches occur for more than half the month for six months or more. They're much more common in men than in women, and may be caused by stress, particularly if they happen with a stiff neck.

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A sinister headache, along with symptoms like fever, might indicate an illness like meningitis.
A sinister headache, along with symptoms like fever, might indicate an illness like meningitis.

Cluster headaches are quite rare. They tend to occur for several months at a time and then stop until they reappear the following year. People who have these may have several headaches in a single day. Other symptoms of this condition include red, watery eyes and a runny nose. They tend to happen more often in smokers than in non-smokers.

Tight scalp or neck muscles can sometimes cause tension headaches.
Tight scalp or neck muscles can sometimes cause tension headaches.

Some people also experience head pain when they eat something cold. This is often called an ice cream headache. They are also called an ice pick headache because of the sharp, stabbing nature of the pain, or brain freeze because of the association with cold foods.

Vomiting is a common sign of a migraine.
Vomiting is a common sign of a migraine.

One of the most severe type of headaches is a migraine. These affect more women than men. The most common signs of a migraine are sensitivity to light and noise, pain on one side of the head, nausea and vomiting. Stress, low blood sugar levels, reaction to chemical odors, chocolate, caffeine, aged cheeses, alcohol and smoked foods are all thought to be possible causes.

Glaucoma may cause eye soreness and other head pains.
Glaucoma may cause eye soreness and other head pains.

Certain types of illnesses and conditions have head pain as a symptom, which is then called a sinister headache. This can indicate meningitis, glaucoma or carbon monoxide poisoning. General sickness, a stiff neck and fever may accompany a sinister headache in cases of meningitis. A sore eye with redness and nausea and vomiting may accompany one in glaucoma sufferers. Carbon monoxide poisoning may produce a similar feeling along with nausea and vomiting and vision problems in severe cases.

Chocolate can cause headaches.
Chocolate can cause headaches.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may cause headache and nausea.
Carbon monoxide poisoning may cause headache and nausea.
An ice cream headache is a common type of headache, caused by ingesting too much ice cream too fast.
An ice cream headache is a common type of headache, caused by ingesting too much ice cream too fast.
Migraine sufferers may use ice packs to dull the pain from headaches.
Migraine sufferers may use ice packs to dull the pain from headaches.
Some people report a stabbing sensation behind one eye during cluster headaches.
Some people report a stabbing sensation behind one eye during cluster headaches.
Migraine headaches are typically caused by a swelling in the blood vessels located in the brain.
Migraine headaches are typically caused by a swelling in the blood vessels located in the brain.
Tension headaches can be triggered by psychological factors such as anxiety or emotional tension.
Tension headaches can be triggered by psychological factors such as anxiety or emotional tension.

Discussion Comments

AuthorSheriC

Sometimes daily and/or severe headaches can signal serious medical problems so do seek medical help right away to rule this out!

AuthorSheriC

Daily headaches may be caused by eyestrain or needing different prescription glasses, but you should get a proper medical diagnoses. You may even be suffering from mild migraine or tension headaches. There is no way of knowing the cause of your headaches unless you get professional advice though. The best thing for you to do is to see your family doctor and eye doctor as well. Keeping a journal of your symptoms, type of headache pain and frequency of your headaches can help medical professionals in diagnosing your headaches.

anon18803

i get headaches a lot, and some are really bad. they occur just about every day. i'm 13. Are headaches maybe caused by eye problems or needing better glasses?

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