The common forms of headaches you may experience include; tension headaches, migraine, and sinusitis.
Tension headache is the commonest type of headache, it is a dull ache in the head, and is most often brought on by tension or stress, e.g. pressure at work, or family argument. Tension headaches are described as a weight pressing on top of the head, a band of tension across the forehead, back of the head and neck or a constant aching or throbbing pain.
Classical migraine is often associated with alternations in vision (flashing lights, zigzag lines in front of the eyes, etc.) and the patient may experience tingling or numbness on one side of the body or in the fingers and arms before an attack starts. It usually starts on one side of the head and may not always spread to the whole head. Nausea and vomiting may accompany migraine. Patients may also suffer from pain in bright light during an attack and find relief lying in a darkened room. The attacks may be triggered by certain foods, emotional, psychological or hormonal factors.
Sinusitis is often experienced with a cold or an allergy (e.g. hay fever) and is due to inflammation and swelling of the mucosal lining of the sinuses. Mucous is produced in the sinus, but cannot drain due to the swelling, and the pressure builds up causing pain behind and around the eye, which may be associated with a runny or blocked nose. It is worst on bending forwards or lying down.
Toothache can only be treated in the short term, and the patient should be advised to see the dentist.
Headache can also be caused by fatigue or eye strain or glaucoma. It can also be related to the jaw from dental pain. Muscle strain or pulled ligaments in the neck or upper back can also cause headache.