Headaches Health News

Headaches are a very common health problem, and the term always refers to some form of pain emanating from the head. Of course, the cause, specific symptoms and degree of the headache can vary drastically from person to person. Most people, about 70 percent, have at least one headache a year.

Headache Types

There are many different types of headaches, and each can vary in frequency and severity. If a headache is painful and feels like a tightening sensation in the head, but is not debilitating, it's most likely a tension headache. These result from bad posture, stress or other circumstances and are common in women older than 20.

If a headache is intense, throbbing and debilitating, it could be a migraine headache. These can last from a few hours to a few days, and they're often accompanied by sensitivity to light and noise. Many migraine headaches are preceded by an "aura," which refers to telltale visual symptoms that occur right before the migraine attack. Some people get several migraines a month, others experience them only a few times a year or less.

Cluster headaches, another type of headache, are more common in men, and they typically affect just one side of the head. They last about 30 to 45 minutes, but they sometimes occur several times a day. Cluster headaches are usually related to increased blood flow in a specific part of the head.

Treatment

Treatments are available for all types of headaches, but the approach will vary based on how severe the headache is. For example, tension headaches often can be handled at home with over-the-counter pain medications and relaxation techniques. For cluster headaches, you may need to see a doctor about prescription medications. Oxygen therapy is another possibility for treating cluster headaches. A variety of approaches are used to treat migraines, including medications that address the acute symptoms of the migraine and medications that can prevent a migraine from occurring. For migraine headaches, it’s best to work closely with a doctor to find a solution that works best for you.

SOURCES: American College of Physicians; National Headache Foundation

Date Posted
Article Title
4/19/2017
FDA Approves Device to Help Curb Cluster Headaches

New technology stimulates a nerve in the neck to help ease the rare but painful syndrome

4/12/2017
A Healthier Weight May Mean Fewer Migraines

Study found risk increased in both obese and underweight people

3/6/2017
Nasal 'Nerve Block' May Help Ease Kids' Migraines

But one headache expert says procedure not without risks, pain relief not significantly better than meds

3/1/2017
Wireless Arm Patch May Blunt Migraine Pain

Study found electrical stimulation reduced ache if started soon enough

1/11/2017
Migraine Linked to Higher Stroke Risk After Surgery

The risk is small, but concerning, researchers say

1/2/2017
Cluster Headaches Can Defy Diagnosis But Respond to Treatment

Pain is so intense it often wakes people from their sleep, neurologist says

12/30/2016
Is It a Cold or the Flu? Here's How to Tell

Symptoms can be similar, but flu hits faster, is more likely to lead to complications

11/15/2016
Migraine and Stroke Risk Linked Again

Researchers suggest doctors consider severe headaches a potential risk factor for brain attack

10/27/2016
Study Questions Use of Migraine Meds in Kids, Teens

Researchers found sugar pill worked as well as commonly prescribed drugs

10/21/2016
More Kids and Teens Heading to ER With Headaches

Study finds hospital admissions for head pain also up; reasons are unclear

10/18/2016
Mouth and Gut Germs May Be Linked to Migraines

People who get the severe headaches have more nitrate-reducing microbes, researchers say

10/11/2016
For Migraine Sufferers, Is a Chiropractor's Touch All in the Mind?

Study participants who had sham treatment reported pain relief, too

10/5/2016
Brain Aneurysm: Lack of Awareness Can Cost Lives

Husband of late TV journalist leads effort to educate people about the warning signs

9/29/2016
Can You Blame Your Headaches on Your Thyroid?

People with migraines had 40 percent higher risk of thyroid problems, study suggests

9/16/2016
Sound Waves: An Rx for High Blood Pressure, Migraine?

Sound therapy balances brain signals, researcher says

9/1/2016
Review Suggests Safe, Effective Ways to Relieve Pain Without Meds

Approaches such as acupuncture, massage and tai chi may ease discomfort

8/22/2016
Truth or Fib? When Kids Say They're Too Sick for School

An expert's advice on when to keep your child home

6/8/2016
Experimental Drug Acts Fast Against Chronic Migraine

Begins working within 3 to 7 days, study finds

5/24/2016
Health Tip: Have Headaches? Speak to Your Doctor

Learn as much as possible about your condition

5/13/2016
5 Warning Signs of Stroke

More younger people at risk; treatment must be administered quickly, neurologist says

4/18/2016
Botox Can Be Used for Chronic Migraine, Experts Say

American Academy of Neurology issues new guideline on use of the drug

3/11/2016
Severe Migraines Linked to Complications During Pregnancy, Childbirth

Women older than 35 appear most at risk, study finds

2/23/2016
Do Genes Link Headaches, Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Study finds evidence of shared DNA, but more research is needed

2/1/2016
Study: Causes of Gulf War Illness Pinpointed

In most cases, it was exposure to toxins employed by U.S. military, researcher says

1/22/2016
Migraines May Worsen as Menopause Approaches

Researchers say hormonal changes and painkiller overuse may be to blame

1/15/2016
Marijuana May Help Treat, Prevent Migraines, Study Says

Average number of headaches cut in half, but experts say more research needed

12/11/2015
Asthma Linked to Chronic Migraines in Some People

Study suggests odds doubled for those with the airway disease

11/6/2015
Sleepwalkers Feel No Pain When Injured: Study

But they're more likely to get headaches and migraines when awake, researchers added

11/5/2015
People Have Less Faith in Generic Drugs, Study Suggests

Brand names perceived more effective, even if they're placebos

9/9/2015
Blood Test Might One Day Help Spot Migraines

Researchers found levels of certain fats indicated which women suffered debilitating headaches

8/31/2015
Hate Hangovers? Then Don't Drink Too Much

Researchers say supposed cures don't chase away that woozy morning-after misery

8/20/2015
Severe Headache During Pregnancy May Signal Trouble

Study found it could be tied to raised risk of complications in women with high blood pressure

8/18/2015
8/14/2015
Headaches Are Common in Kids, Teens

Treatment often as simple as a glass of water, a good meal or some sleep, expert says

7/2/2015
Migraine's Link to Higher Heart Disease Risk May Not Be Genetic

Study suggests non-genetic factors may be what increases risk

7/1/2015
Health Tip: Log Symptoms in a Headache Diary

To help you better manage pain

6/25/2015
Surgery May Help Teens With Frequent Migraines, Study Contends

At least one expert questions whether improvements are due to the procedure

6/18/2015
New Drugs Might Prevent Migraines Before They Start

Injectable medications appear promising in early trials, but more research needed

6/17/2015
Many Migraine Sufferers Given Narcotic Painkillers, Barbiturates

These are a poor choice, especially for children, doctors say

6/5/2015
Pregnancy Often Leads to Changes in Migraines

Many women have fewer headaches while expecting, experts say

4/23/2015
Chronic Migraines Take Big Toll on Families, Survey Finds

Debilitating headaches meant less participation in family activities, canceled plans each month

4/17/2015
Migraines Often Undiagnosed, Doctor Says

Proper identification of headache type can lead to better treatment

4/9/2015
Migraine Drug May Up Risk of Eating Disorders in Some Teens

Case reports don't prove the medicine caused problems, however

3/30/2015
Migraine, Carpal Tunnel May Be Linked

Patients with one are more than twice as likely to have the other, study says

3/2/2015
Nerve Treatment Via Nose Shows Promise Against Migraines

Therapy reduced pain level by about one-third for up to a month, study found

2/17/2015
Kids Can Get Migraines Too

Tracking pain patterns and getting treatment can help, experts explain

1/20/2015
Study Rates Migraine Medications

Findings will be basis of new guidelines on treatments for debilitating headaches

12/24/2014
Abuse in Childhood Tied to Migraines in Adulthood

Emotional or sexual maltreatment linked to higher odds of serious headache, study finds

12/24/2014
Expert Offers Tips for Preventing Holiday Migraines

Don't skip meals and avoid triggers such as red wine, aged cheese and chocolate

12/17/2014
Migraine May Raise Risk for Bell's Palsy, Study Suggests

The headaches were tied to a doubling of odds for the facial paralysis, researchers say