Headaches are an extremely common problem. Estimates suggest that more than half of adults globally had a headache within the last year and a little under a third of adults had a migraine.
While most adults accept headaches as part of the world that they occupy, most people remain surprisingly unaware that there are many types of headaches. Most also don’t know that headaches often stem from very different kinds of triggers.
If you’re curious about the different types of headaches, keep reading. We’ll offer a quick breakdown of the types of headaches and some common treatments.
Types of Headaches
There are well over 100 different kinds of specific headaches. Yet, the vast majority of those headaches fall into two main categories: primary and secondary headaches. Let’s take a closer look at each.
In general, primary headaches are their own conditions. Common examples of primary headaches include:
- Cluster headaches
- Tension headaches
In other words, you may get these regardless of anything you do. A migraine may happen even if you do everything right.
Secondary headaches happen as a byproduct of something else, such as an underlying condition. Some common examples include:
- Sinus headaches
- Dental headaches
- External compression headaches
These types of headaches often occur because of things like infections, high blood pressure, or tight headgear.
There is a wide assortment of triggers for both primary and secondary headaches. Some of the more common triggers include:
- Skipped meals
- Insufficient sleep
- Excessive exercise
- Certain foods
The exact things that will trigger your headaches will not necessarily trigger headaches for others. For example, drinking red wine will trigger headaches in some people but not others. Only getting five hours of sleep will leave some people with debilitating headaches and other people can get by just fine on that minimal amount of sleep for several days.
There are also a number of potential treatment options for headaches, depending on the type and severity. The most common treatment is often an over-the-counter pain medication. For migraines, you’ll often get a prescription for migraine-specific medications.
Another common tactic among headache sufferers is basic lifestyle changes, such as limiting alcohol, getting more exercise and sleep, and embracing better nutrition. Already tried these things with no relief? You can also seek out professional assistance from headache experts, like the ones found at this office.
Managing the Different Types of Headaches
Managing the different types of headaches is often a struggle, particularly if you get more than one kind. Always start with your doctor. They can often help you identify what kind of headaches you get, as well as pinpoint triggers and the best treatment options.
You can also watch for things in your life that seem to trigger headaches, likes foods, activities, and even household chemicals that may act as allergens for you.
Looking for more tips on living a healthy life with less acute pain? Check out some more of the posts over in our Health section.