Types Of Headaches

Types Of Headaches

Many people suffer from headaches at some point throughout the year. For some people, their headaches are caused by allergies, for others, it may be stress, and others may be due to hormonal changes. Regardless of the cause, headaches are a major medical problem affecting many Americans. They cause people to suffer from pain, miss work and have an overall diminished quality of life. Fortunately, pain doctors in Chicago offer pain management clinics, that can help headache sufferers improve their symptoms. Understanding the type of headache a patient is suffering from is key to providing accurate and effective treatment for the patient.



           Migraines are some of the worst types of headaches a person could have. They tend to begin with an aura and sensitivity to light, and quickly progress to pain. Some people may suffer from nausea or have visual distortions. Most migraine sufferers experience multiple throughout their lives and while most last for around an hour, some can last as long as three days. Over the counter painkillers can help when taken immediately at the onset. Or, if the patient suffers migraines regularly, botox injections or prescription pain relievers may be necessary.


Cluster Headaches

           Cluster headaches manifest as severe pain behind one eye. They are much more prevalent in females and can lead to a swollen eyelid, a congested or runny nose, and light sensitivity. Cluster headaches come on with no warning and can happen multiple times in the same day. Unfortunately, it is not known what causes cluster headaches, which can make them difficult to prevent. Keeping a journal of activities done and food eaten before a cluster headache occurs can help to determine your personal triggers. Various medications such as steroids, lithium, and oxygen therapy can help to minimize symptoms.


Tension Headaches

           Tension headaches present as a dull pain present on both sides of the head. While they are annoying, most people are able to continue normal day to day activities, uninterrupted by the headache. Triggers can include dehydration, loud noises, lack of sleep, skipped meals, and eye strain. Fortunately, over the counter pain killers are typically enough to help with the pain. Lifestyle changes such as eating better and consistently and exercising can help to prevent tension headaches from occurring.


Exertional Headaches

           Exertional headaches are exactly what they sound like, headaches brought on by too much activity. This could mean anything from exercising too hard, having a bad coughing fit, or lifting too heavy of weights. While these headaches do not tend to last long, they are painful and present as a throbbing sensation throughout the whole head. Typically, stopping whatever activity you are doing, is enough to allow the headache to subside. 


Sinus Headache

           Sinus headaches occur when there is a swelling of the sinus cavities. This is oftentimes caused by some kind of infection, allergy, or cold. Patients will notice a throbbing sensation around their eyes, nose, and face. Over the counter painkillers and nasal decongestants can help to relieve the pain caused by sinus headaches. 

At Illinois Pain Institute in Chicago, every patient is treated with the utmost dignity and respect as they work to relieve them of their suffering and restore their ability to enjoy life to the fullest.