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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.