Almost everyone has suffered a headache at some point in their lives. The experience can range from “it went away on its own” to “my head throbbed for 72 hours.” But when is it time to see a doctor for your headaches?
One way to start understanding your head pain is to learn about the different types of headaches.
The pain you feel during a headache can be on one side of your head or on both sides at once. It can be a throbbing pain in your forehead or feel like your head is caught in a vice. Let’s examine the different types of headaches.
A tension headache is a very common type of headache; it’s estimated that up to 80 percent of adults experience them on an occasional basis. The pain is usually described as a constant band-like pain around the forehead or back of the head and neck. Other symptoms include tenderness around the scalp, neck, and shoulder muscles.
A migraine headache is a painful and sometimes reoccurring headache that appears quickly, often with severe pain in the temple area on one side of the head, which may extend to the face, sinuses, jaw, and neck. Migraines can last from an hour to 72 hours. Commonly, nausea or vomiting and sensitivity to light and/or sound can accompany a migraine headache. If you are experiencing this type of headache, you should see a doctor for a migraine diagnosis and treatment options.
A sinus headache is caused by an inflammation of your sinus cavities, often resulting from a cold or allergies. Sinus headaches can cause pain and pressure around the nose, eyes, forehead, and cheeks. People often confuse sinus headaches with migraines because the signs and symptoms can be similar.