A headache is a pain that occurs in the head. Millions of people suffer from headaches and they are one of the most common health complaints. The term headache is very broad because there is more than one type. Health researchers have found that there are more than 150 types of headaches. Some of the most common types of headache include: tension, migraine, cluster and sinus. Tension headaches cause mild to moderate pain and are caused by muscle contractions. The pain caused by a tension headache may come and go and it can usually be alleviated by taking an over-the-counter medication, such as Tylenol or Advil. It is the most common type of headache.
Migraines are headaches that cause intense and throbbing pain. Many people describe any type of headache that they have as a migraine, but true migraines are much more intense. They are often accompanied by other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting and loss of appetite. Over-the-counter medications usually are not strong enough to treat migraines. Most patients have to get a prescription medication from their doctors in order to get relief. A cluster headache is a type of headache that causes pain that can be described as burning or piercing. This is the least common type of headache, but it is much more serious than the others. People who have cluster headaches usually experience them one or more times in a day. These episodes can last anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. People who have cluster headaches need to go see their doctors because this may also indicate a serious underlying condition. Sinus headaches cause pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or nose. People who have sinus infections usually have other symptoms including fever, facial swelling and nasal discharge. Sinus headaches usually can be treated with over-the-counter medications and nasal decongestants.