It’s challenging to think about the cause of your headache when you’re struggling with pain. But once you feel better, you would want to figure out the cause and prevent its future occurrence.
The fact is, there are various types of headaches caused by different factors. And you can only manage your condition if you know its cause or what triggers it.
Let’s have a look at some of the types and factors causing headaches, plus how you can manage them:
Types and Causes of Headaches
Headaches are common health problems most people face. The difference might only be on the severity as some would have mild. In contrast, others could be life-threatening that would demand emergency care.
Some headaches may be a result of other medical conditions. At the same time, you may have a headache resulting from other causes or factors. Meaning, not all headaches would be signs of malaria. Some of the pain you experience may result from mixed signals between your nerves and damaged blood vessels in your head.
Headaches are classified into two major classifications:
- Primary headaches
- Secondary headaches
These are headaches caused by over-activity of problems in the pain-sensitive part of your head. They may occur due to chemical reactions and the brain’s activities and blood vessels around your head. In other words, they aren’t symptoms of any underlying conditions or diseases.
Migraine headaches occur when your super-sensitive nerve and muscle endings create pain. They are often known as the pounding or throbbing painful headache that would last for about an hour or 3 days maximum. Alongside the pain, you may experience nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to noise, light, or smell. You may also have symptoms like loss of appetite, and belly pain, or upset stomach.
These are headaches that occur in groups and may appear more than once a day. They are characterized by intense piercing and burning pain behind your eyes, constant throbbing, and reddish eyes. Also, you may have a running or stuffed-up nose.
Tension headaches are characterized by dull aching head pain, pressure along the neck and forehead, and tenderness in your muscles, neck, or scalp. These are common types of headache that strike when your head muscles and nerves are tightened. They are widespread in people with tight bands around their heads.
These are headaches that happen as a symptom of another condition or disease. Simply put, they are headaches activated by other health situations.
Here are some of the possible causes of secondary headaches:
- Brain tumor- growth of abnormal cells in your brain
- Acute sinusitis, also known as sinus headaches- Which happens due to the inflammation of the sinuses in your brain, causing deep and constant pain on your forehead and cheekbones
- A blood clot within the brain- venous thrombosis
Some would also result from head injuries and concussions, high blood vessels in your brain, infections, trauma, and sometimes medication overuse.
Additional Causes of Headaches
Some headaches would be triggered with specific lifestyle factors like;
- Emotional stress and depression
- Skipping meals
- Less sleep time or any change in your sleeping pattern
- Alcohol consumption, especially taking red wine
- Consuming processed foods like meat containing nitrates
- Bad or poor posture causing back and neck strain
Women can also experience some headaches due to shifts in hormone levels during pregnancy or menopause. Birth control and libido pills, and hormone replacement therapy are significant triggers of headaches.
Your environment can also lead to your headaches. For instance, exposure to tobacco smoke smells from perfumes or chemicals and allergies to various substances.
Having headaches does not necessarily mean you have malaria. Some headaches result from other infections, inflammation of the sinuses, stress, anxiety, depression, and hormonal changes. You may also experience headaches due to less sleep, lousy posture, skipping meals, or consuming processed meals with nitrates, among other factors.