What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them? Here Is What To Know

Learn more about ‘What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them?’ There are several forms of headaches, each with a unique set of symptoms and causes. The majority are transient and hardly reason for worry. However, understanding the type of headache a person is having can help them decide how to treat it and whether to consult a doctor.

Nearly half of all adults, according to the World Health Organization (WHO)Trusted Source, will have suffered from at least one headache in the previous year.

While they can occasionally be unpleasant and incapacitating, the majority of them can be treated with straightforward painkillers and will disappear within a few hours. But recurrent bouts or specific sorts of headaches could point to a more serious medical issue.


What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them? Here Is What To Know
What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them? Here Is What To Know


More than 150 different forms of headaches are defined by the International Classification of Headache Disorders, which is further divided into primary and secondary headaches.

A primary headache is caused by the ailment itself and is not a secondary headache. Migraine and tension headaches are two examples. A secondary headache, on the other hand, has a different underlying cause, such a head injury or abrupt caffeine withdrawal.

This page discusses some of the most typical headache kinds, as well as their causes, remedies, and recommendations for seeking medical attention.

1. Migraine

What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them? Here Is What To Know
What Are The 5 Different Types Of Headaches And How To Get Rid Of Them? Here Is What To Know


Intense throbbing pain on one side of the head is a common symptom of a migraine headache.

A person’s heightened sensitivity to sound, light, and scent may occur. Also frequent are nausea and vomiting.

Auras are felt by around 25% of migraine sufferers before the headaches really begin. These sensory and visual disturbances typically last between 5 and 60 minutes, and they include:

  • seeing zig-zagging lines, flickering lights, or spots
  • partial loss of vision
  • numbness
  • tingling
  • muscle weakness
  • difficulty speaking or finding words


Be mindful that signs of an aura might potentially point to a meningitis or stroke. Anyone encountering them for the first time needs to get help right once.

Every incidence of a migraine headache can last anywhere from a few hours to many days, and they frequently come again. It is a lifelong condition for many people.

The causes of migraines are not entirely understood by medical professionals. But it frequently runs in families, and it affects people with certain pre-existing conditions more frequently, like depression and epilepsy.

migraines may be brought on by:

  • stress and anxiety
  • sleep disruption
  • hormonal changes
  • skipping meals
  • dehydration
  • some foods and medications
  • bright lights and loud noise


The severity of the symptoms, how frequently they occur, and whether the patient has nausea and vomiting will all influence the course of treatment.

Options for treatment include trustworthy source:

  • non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen, naproxen, aspirin, or acetaminophen
  • triptans, such as sumatriptan, which need a prescription
  • antiemetics, such as metoclopramide, to manage nausea and vomiting


Techniques for neuro-stimulation, such as transcranial magnetic stimulation, may also be beneficial.

A person can also ease attacks by:

  • resting in a dark, quiet place
  • placing an ice pack or a cold cloth on the forehead
  • drinking water


Patients with persistent migraines should discuss preventative care with their physician. If a person experiences an attack on more than 15 days in a given month or if symptoms appear for at least 8 days per month for three months, a medical practitioner may make the diagnosis of chronic migraine.

For treating migraines, there are several drug options:

  • topiramate (Topamax)
  • propranolol
  • amitriptyline


Dietary adjustments, stress reduction techniques, and acupuncture are additional management options to think about.


2. Tension-Type Headache

Most people get tension-type headaches at some point. They appear as a continuous, dull headache on both sides of the head. Additional signs might include:

  • tenderness of the face, head, neck, and shoulders
  • a feeling of pressure behind the eyes
  • sensitivity to light and sound

These headaches can last from 30 minutes to several hours.

Although the exact etiology of tension headaches is unknown, frequent triggers include stress, worry, and sadness. Other possible causes comprise:

  • dehydration
  • loud noise
  • lack of exercise
  • insufficient quality sleep
  • posture
  • skipped meals
  • eye strain



Pain relief from over-the-counter (OTC) medications like ibuprofen, acetaminophen, and aspirin is typically very effective. People who get headaches more than 15 days a month for 90 days should see a doctor.

Tension headaches may be avoided with certain lifestyle modifications and treatments. These may consist of:

  • getting enough sleep
  • regular exercise and stretching
  • improving sitting and standing posture
  • having an eye test
  • management of stressanxiety, or depression
  • acupuncture

3. Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are painful and often occur. Males are six times more likely than females to be impacted by them. People often speak of a sharp, stabbing, or burning pain behind or around one eye.

Other symptoms can include:

  • watering eyes
  • swollen eyelid
  • a blocked or a runny nose
  • sensitivity to light and sound
  • restlessness or agitation


Cluster headaches often last between 15 minutes and 3 hours and start quickly and without notice. A person may have up to 8 assaults each day.

These assaults can last for weeks or months and typically happen in daily bunches. They frequently begin a few hours after going to sleep at night and at regular intervals.

Anyone exhibiting these signs, which occasionally resemble hay fever, should see a doctor.

Cluster headaches are more common in smokers, though their exact cause is unknown. Alcohol should be avoided when under attack.


The goal of treatment is to lessen the intensity and frequency of episodes. Options include:

  • oxygen therapy
  • sumatriptan
  • verapamil
  • steroids
  • melatonin
  • lithium

Additionally promising for treating cluster headaches that do not respond to medication are deep brain stimulation and vagus nerve stimulation.

4. Exertional Headache

Exertional headaches are brought on by vigorous exercise and have the following causes:

  • running
  • jumping
  • weight lifting
  • sexual intercourse
  • bouts of coughing or sneezing


Although they frequently last just a few hours, these headaches can occasionally persist up to two days. People with a family history of migraines are more likely to have them, which often manifest as pounding headaches.

First-time sufferers of cluster headaches should consult a doctor as they may indicate a more serious condition.


Exertion-related headaches can be treated by employing the following methods:

  • OTC pain relief
  • beta-blockers, such as propanolol
  • indomethacin

Exertion headaches might occasionally be the outcome of cardiovascular issues. If so, a physician could advise tests to examine a patient’s cerebrovascular and cardiovascular health.


5. Hypnic Headaches

A hypnic headache is an uncommon ailment that commonly manifests in people’s 50s, however it can appear earlier. These headaches, which some people refer to as “alarm clock headaches,” cause people to wake up at night.

Mild to severe throbbing pain, typically on both sides of the head, is the hallmark of a hypnic headache. Other symptoms may include nausea and sensitivity to light and sound, and it can continue for up to three hours.

Each week, there may be multiple attacks on a person. There are no known triggers for hypnic headaches, and their cause is unclear.

Hypnic headaches aren’t harmful, but an older adult who has any strange headaches for the first time needs to consult a doctor. In order to rule out migraine and cluster headaches, a doctor may do so.


There are several ways to treat hypnic headaches. dependable source:

  • caffeine
  • indomethacin
  • lithium
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