Just Another Headache?

Headaches are fairly common, yet there are many different kinds, and they range from early morning headaches to exertion headaches to vascular ones. Each headache type also has different symptoms and requires different treatment options.

Researchers are just now beginning to understand this com-plicated biological disease. If you want to learn more about headaches, the National Headache Foundation provides information. Their site helps sufferers identify headache types, and they provide education, management tools, and support groups for headache sufferers.

In the meantime, if you want a quick rundown on the five most common headaches, review the following chart. It offers concise, easy-to-read information on headaches, so when the next one strikes you’ll recognize it and you’ll know exactly what to do.

Headaches, Their Symptoms, and Their Treatments

Headache Type

Symptoms

Treatment

Cluster
  • Occurs in cycles
  • Localized pain behind the eye
  • Restlessness
  • Severe pain on one side of the
    head
  • Watery eyes and congestion
  • There is no cure
  • Corticosteroids, such as
    Verapamil or antiepileptic
    drugs, such as Topiramate
    or Divalproex Sodium can
    decrease frequency and
    duration of attacks
Migraine
  • Lasts 4 to 72 hours
  • Sometimes foreshadowed by
    visual distortions, aura, or
    numbness in hands
  • Sufferer displays 1 symptom:
    light and sound sensitivity,
    nausea and/or vomiting
  • Sufferer displays 2 symptoms:
    one-sided pain, pulsating pain,
    moderate to severe pain, and
    interference with regular
    activities
  • Ibuprofen
  • Naproxen
  • Tylenol
Rebound
  • Caused by overuse of pain-
    killers or over-the-counter
    drugs, such as aspirin, Advil,
    Motrin, and Tylenol
  • Wean yourself off the
    medication
  • Don’t use painkillers for
    more than 10 days in any
    given month
Sinus
  • Pressure in the sinus region
  • Often an accompanying fever
  • Antibiotics
  • Antihistamines
  • Decongestants
Tension
  • The head feels constant
    pressure or aches and the
    pain is particularly
    noticeable in the neck and
    temples
  • Aspirin
  • Ibuprofen
  • Tylenol

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