Tension headache, migraine headache and cluster headache are the most common types of headaches. Tension headache usually causes pressure or tightness on both sides of the head. It usually develops with overexertion, dehydration or stress. Migraine headaches are usually throbbing and one sided. They develop slowly and start with a prodrome (flashes of light, blurred vision or sounds) and then moderate to severe headache develops and increases in intensity. Often, sensitivity to light, nausea and vomiting are present. Migraine headaches often run in families.
Tension headaches usually treated by rest, non-prescription medications, oral hydration and cold compresses. Migraine headaches needs prescription medications. It is important to know and avoid “triggers”, things that cause headache. Most common triggers are stress, hunger, alcohol, too much or too little caffeine, luck of sleep, certain food or drinks.
Headaches also may be a symptom of infection, elevated blood pressure, metabolic disorders, neurological conditions, vascular accidents and injuries.
Worrisome signs are fever and stiff neck, “worse headache of life,” confusion, seizures, weakness or numbness, visual disturbances. In those instances, physician or hospital should be contacted and person evaluated urgently.