Headache – A Closer Look

More than 45 million Americans experience headache each year. For all headaches, about 90 percent are primary headaches. Primary headache has three types: pain, cluster and migraine. For better tips visit Daily Headaches: When to See a Doctor.

Tension-headache is the most common form of primary headache. Approximately 75 to 90 per cent of people with headaches have stress headache. Headaches of stress are characterized by a dull, persistent ache arising in more than one part of the head, scalp or back. These seem to happen at both sides of your brain. Headaches of stress can occur regularly, or as an isolated event. The pain usually goes up for several hours. The pain is of a pulsating nature at its worst. A person with a stress headache may also feel tightness or pressure around the brain. A person with tension headache may have sleeping problems as well.

Tension headaches arise from rigid, clenched back, arms, scalp or jaw muscles. Such muscles contract can be a product of tension, exhaustion, depression, noise, or anxiety. Exerting too much effort, not having enough sleep, or missing meals will increase your risk of having headache from anxiety. Every task that allows you to keep your head still in an uncomfortable position for a long time such as typing or using a microscope or sleeping with your neck can also cause a stress headache. Drug consumption, heavy smoking, sinus infection, nasal inflammation and colds are other factors. A woman has a greater risk of having stress headache than a man. Tension headache occurs more often in adults and teenagers. Headaches of anxiety can also occur if a person has migraine headaches.

Headaches from the cluster are much less common than headaches from anxiety. A headache in the cluster begins quite quickly, and most commonly 2-3 hours after falling asleep. These are sharp, intensely painful headaches that over a period of weeks or months appear to occur several times a day, and then go away. They can recur the next year. The pain hits its peak rapidly within 5-10 minutes. Those headaches will last between 30 minutes and 2 hours. Cluster headaches pain almost always only affects one side of the brain, and can occur in and around one eye. They can also impact the temples from the neck to one side of the nose. You shouldn’t lay down, because the pain always gets worse. There are other signs, including swelling around the eyes, heavy crying, red eye and nasal stuffiness, that can result from a cluster headache. Such symptoms usually occur on the same side as headaches.