Headache is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. Frequent headaches can affect relationships and employment. There is also an increased risk of depression in those with severe headaches.
Headaches can occur as a result of many conditions whether serious or not.
Primary vs. secondary headaches
Headaches are broadly classified as “primary” or “secondary”. Primary headaches are benign, recurrent headaches not caused by underlying disease or structural problems. For example, migraine is a type of primary headache. Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying disease, like an infection, head injury, vascular disorders, brain bleed or tumors.
90% of all headaches are primary headaches. Most common types of primary headaches are migraines and tension-type headaches.
Migraines typically present with episodes of pulsing head pain, nausea, photophobia (sensitivity to light) and phonophobia (sensitivity to sound). Migraine can be effectively treated with life style modifications and medications.
Tension-type headaches usually present with non-pulsing “bandlike” pressure on both sides of the head, not accompanied by other symptoms
Other rare types of primary headaches include
- Cluster Headaches
- Trigeminal neuralgia or occipital neuralgia
- Hemicrania continua
- Primary stabbing headache
- Primary cough headache
- Primary exertional headache
- Primary sex headache
- Hypnic headache