There are several different types of headaches and migraines, and it can often be difficult to tell them apart. However, once you know which type of pain you are experiencing, you and your doctor can work together to form a plan to treat your headaches.
While most headaches and migraines attack women, men are more likely to suffer from cluster headaches. These severe headaches usually last less than three hours, and they often include pulses of pain that are located on one side of the head. Sufferers have also reported an increase in tears and nasal discharge on the side that is affected. In some cases, direct oxygen has been shown to alleviate the symptoms of cluster headaches, and there are several medications on the market that relieve the pain.
Tension headaches are one of the most common types of headaches. The non-pulsing pain occurs on both sides of the head and may stretch like a band across the forehead. The pain may also travel across the head and down the neck. If you suffer from tension headaches, you may feel better after taking an over-the-counter pain reliever or a combination of medications.
If your severe headaches are preceded by flickering lights or block spots in your vision, then you may have classic migraines. The aura is often followed by a throbbing or pounding pain on one side of the head, and you may experience numbness, imbalance or difficulty speaking. If you believe that you suffer from classic migraines, then you need to speak with your doctor or neurologist. He may be able to recommend a medication that will minimize your pain.
Migraine without Aura
If you do not experience an aura before the onset of your migraine, then you may have a common migraine. A migraine without aura is a severe headache that can last for as long as 72 hours, and it may be triggered by fluctuating hormones, stress, scents, food or other factors. The pain is often located on one side of the head and may be pounding or throbbing. You may also be sensitive to light and sound, and you may have nausea and vomiting. If you get a migraine without aura, then you should work closely with your doctor to find a medication that will treat your specific symptoms.
There are many types of headaches and migraines, and it may take some time to determine which kind you are experiencing. It is often beneficial to keep a headache journal that outlines the location and duration of the headache, as well as what you were doing before its onset. This will give your doctor the information he needs to prescribe an effective treatment.
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