01/7What the location of your headache reveals about it
Whether you have a cold, are stressed or dehydrated, headaches are a common symptom associated with all of these illnesses. It is characterised by a painful sensation in any part of the head, ranging from a sharp, stabbing to a dull pain.
What many people don't know is that there are many types of headaches and often these can overlap, making it difficult to identify the source of the ailment.
Having said that, it is important to know which type of headache you're dealing with so as to treat it with the right intervention. Hence, you can differentiate between these headache types, based on their location.
02/7Pain around eyes
Pain that occurs in and around the eye is usually a tell-tale sign of cluster headaches. Cluster headaches are said to be very uncommon, but are one of the most severe forms of headaches.
According to the Mayo Clinic, it strikes quickly and usually without any warning. These tend to arise in groups and can last up to three hours. Often the pain in and around your eyes may radiate down to your neck, cheek, nose, temple or shoulder (usually just on one side).
03/7Pain in your sinuses
Sinuses are air-filled, hollow spaces in the skull that are located behind the forehead, nasal bones, cheeks, and eyes.
Pain in the sinuses could be associated with sinus headaches. Sinus headaches are usually linked to migraines and may feel like an infection in the sinuses (sinusitis). You may feel pain, pressure and fullness in the cheeks, brow and forehead, while also experiencing stuffy nose, fatigue and an achy feeling in the upper teeth, as per the Mayo Clinic.
04/7Pain on your scalp
Experiencing a headache on top of your head i.e. pain on your scalp can mean you have tension headaches.
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache that can range from mild to moderate pain and can occur infrequently. However, in some cases, they may arise several times a week.
Characterised by a dull, aching head pain, tension headaches cause a feeling of tightness or pressure across the forehead or on the sides and back of the head as though a tight band is squeezing around your head.
05/7Pain in the neck and back of the head
Headaches that begin from the neck and radiate to the back can indicate a cervicogenic headache.
A cervicogenic headache is a secondary headache, which means it is caused by another illness or physical condition. It can worsen over time, resulting in difficult neck movements and increased pressure around the same area.
Recent research has found that neck pain can also be a common symptom of migraine, which originates in the brain..
06/7Do not ignore the type of pain
Besides identifying the location of the headache, it is also important to observe the type of pain you're experiencing.
A dull, tightening, aching sensation in the head can point to a tension headache, which is very common. Several things can trigger this kind of headache, ranging from stress, lack of sleep to eye strain, an injury, overexercising and many other reasons.
If your pain is throbbing and lasts for quite some time, it can mean a migraine. A migraine can also come along with other symptoms including nausea, change in vision, etc..
Furthermore, pain that is sharp, searing and one-sided can indicate a cluster headache, which can occur frequently and during the same time of the day.
07/7How to treat headaches?
For migraines and tension headaches, taking over-the-counter medications can be relieving. However, you must consult with your doctor before resorting to such medicines. If your symptoms are repetitive and persistent such as a cluster headache, it may be more difficult to treat.
Home remedies include resting in a quiet dark room, using a hot or cold compress to your head and neck, massages, etc.. In case the headaches are severe and cannot be managed at home, seek emergency care. If you have a headache after an injury or a fall or if the pain does not subside even with treatment, consult your doctor immediately.