Not All Headaches Are Created Equal

Don’t let headaches keep you indoors this summer!The pains of old age

If you have ever experienced the pain that a headache brings, you know how important it is to get proper treatment, and get it fast.

It is important to remember that not all headaches are created equal. They exist in various forms that may manifest at certain times due to specific triggers. It’s crucial to know exactly what you’re dealing with as this determines the treatment you’ll need in order to kick that headache to the curb.

Mild Headaches

Allergy/Sinus Headaches

Headaches caused by allergies or sinus issues will most likely affect you at some point in life. They are almost impossible to avoid, and unfortunately, cannot be prevented.

Symptoms include dull, generalized head pain, watery eyes, and nasal congestion.  Recommended treatments include antihistamines, nasal sprays or, in severe cases, injections.

Caffeine Headaches

These headaches, brought on by a sudden stop in caffeine consumption, may occur for several days in a row. While the pain is relatively mild, it has the potential to derail your day. They normally begin in the morning and persist throughout the day.

The main symptom is a throbbing pain caused by the rebound dilation of blood vessels. The good news is, these are preventable by limiting the amount of caffeine you take in on a daily basis. In severe cases, doctors may recommend that you give up caffeine altogether to prevent future headaches.

Severe Headaches

Cluster Headaches

These headaches are most prevalent in males ages 20-50 but can occur in anyone. Commonly brought on by smoking or alcohol consumption, these severe headaches can last several hours and occur over the course of weeks or even months.

Symptoms include acute pain near the eyes, watery eyes, nasal congestion and in some cases flushing of the face. Treatments include oxygen, ergotamine, and local anesthetics.

Eyestrain Headaches

Eyestrain headaches most commonly affect those who spend a considerable amount of hours a day in front of a computer screen or reading, as well as those who suffer from vision problems.

Symptoms include frontal forehead pain. The only way to prevent such headaches is to limit screen time when possible and to discuss options for vision correction with your optometrist.

Recurrent Headaches

Chronic Daily Headaches (CDH)

If you experience more than 15 headaches in a month’s time, you are suffering from debilitating chronic headaches. Although not technically related to tension-type headaches, they can sometimes be brought on by them.

Symptoms include headaches lasting around four hours or longer for several consecutive days out of the month. As far as treatment goes, every CDH is different, so you’ll want to consult with your doctor about a treatment plan that works for you.

Persistent Headaches

While not as painful or debilitating as chronic headaches, daily persistent headaches still pose a problem for many Americans each year. These headaches occur typically for 2-3 consecutive days.

Symptoms include a prolonged headache that seems to be unresponsive to traditional treatment options. Alternative recommended treatments are anti-seizure medications, such as Topamax®.

Hereditary Headaches

Migraines

What’s something you definitely don’t want passed down from your parents? Migraines! Unfortunately, if these have a history of running in your family, chances are you’ll experience at least one in your lifetime.

Symptoms can include numbness of limbs, blurry or spotty vision, acute temporal pain, vomiting, and more. As soon as you feel a migraine coming on, treat it. If you don’t realize until later that what you’re experiencing is a migraine, try a cold compress or simply sleeping it off in a room with little to no light.

Make an Appointment

Are headaches haunting you?  Make an appointment today with one of our experienced providers. We’d like to discuss your treatment options and help you get on the path toward fewer headaches and a healthier tomorrow.

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