There are many different types of headaches. Tension headaches are the most common. They feel like a constant ache or pressure around the head, focused at the temples or back of the head and neck. Tension headaches usually do not cause nausea or vomiting. They may be caused by the contraction of neck and scalp muscles.
Cluster headaches are recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. They are more common in men than women. Cluster headaches come on quickly and are characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head. They are often accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion, or a runny nose on the same side of the face.
Sinus headaches occur when a sinus becomes inflamed due to an infection. Pain and fever are common. Headaches due to sinus infection may need to be treated with antibiotics.
Overuse of pain medicines for headaches and other body pain can lead to Rebound headaches. Over the counter medications like aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil), as well as prescription drugs, can trigger Rebound headaches.
Migraine headaches can be hereditary and are diagnosed using certain criteria: one-sided pain, throbbing pain, moderate-to-severe pain, and pain that interferes with, is worsened by, or prohibits routine activity; migraines are often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sound. Prior to the onset of a migraine, sufferers may experience visual distortions (glow around objects) or hand numbness.
Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN), also called tic douloureux, is a chronic pain condition that affects the trigeminal, or 5th cranial nerve, one of the most widely distributed nerves in the head. Trigeminal Neuralgia attacks are divided into two categories: TN1 and TN2. TN1 attacks cause extreme, sporadic and sudden burning or shock-like facial pain that lasts anywhere from a few seconds to as long as two minutes per episode. A TN2 attack is characterized by a constant aching, burning, stabbing pain of somewhat lower intensity than TN1. Both forms of pain may occur in the same individual, sometimes at the same time. The intensity of pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating.