Headaches are nasty things. The majority of people will suffer headaches throughout their lifetime — in Australia alone it is estimated around 15 per cent of the population is taking medication for headaches.
According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3rd edition there are hundreds of types of headaches.
In order for your health care professional to determine what headache you are suffering from they will need to get an understanding of the symptoms you are experiencing, as well as how often you a experiencing them and when in the day they might be occurring.
While you might have encountered a tension headache, a cluster headache, headaches from straining your eyes, a migraine, or a headache from your withdrawals from smoking, sugar or caffeine there are far more unusual types out there and people are dealing with them every day.
As the name suggests, exertion headaches are brought on because you have been doing something strenuous — think running, swimming, sneezing, sexual activity and even having a bowel movement. You might suffer these types of headaches during the activity or after the activity, and you could experience nausea and vomiting as a result.
The pain of an exertion headache could last for as little as 15 minutes or could be as lingering as 12 hours.
Those who have suffered an exertion headache have described the pain as a ‘hammer-like blow to the head’.
If you experience these headaches recurrently after exercising it could be a sign of something more, so it’s best to visit your health care professional for a full assessment.
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania
It’s a bit of a mouthful, but chronic paroxysmal hemicrania occurs multiple times throughout the day — you might get five attacks each day lasting between 5 and 30 minutes. You’ll experience pain on one side of your head and those who suffer this form of headache describe the pain as severe.
You will experience the pain in your eye or forehead above the eye on one side of your head.
You’ll experience a hypertension headache when your blood pressure is really, really high (like 200/110 or higher).
Such headaches can feel like you’re squeezing an elastic band really tightly around your head. You might feel that the pain is worse in the morning than it is throughout the day.
The best way to avoid a hypertension headache is to keep your blood pressure under control.
Typically you will experience this sort of pain as you get older. It’s a sharp pain, a bit like an electric shock, and is triggered by something touching your face or when you brush your teeth.
Stress and psychological factors are often common causes for this sort of pain.
You could find relief from the discomfort with muscle relaxants, but it’s best to seek medical assistance to get a thorough investigation and diagnosis.