Other Kinds of Headaches

Tension headaches and migrains are the most common headaches, but they're not the only ones. Here are few other kinds of headaches to watch out for:

Cluster Headaches 

The type of pain-- quick, often and without warning: Cluster headaches are very severe vascular headaches of a piercing quality near one eye or temple that last between 15 minutes and three hours. While sensitivity to light and noise often cause a migraine sufferer to seek to lie down in a dark, quiet room, a cluster headache sufferer often does just the opposite. He or she is unable to sit still when the sudden pain starts: the sufferer often paces, weeps, yells, or even bangs their head on the wall. These headaches are bad.

Cluster headaches recur daily for a period of about one to three months (the “cluster”), followed by headache-free period of anywhere from a month to several years. Sufferers of cluster headaches usually experience one to three attacks per day during a cluster.

Cluster headaches are twice as common in men as they are in women, but overall they are not very common. Current estimates have it that around 3 people in a thousand suffer from cluster headaches.

Sinus Headaches

The sinuses are encased in thin bone with little room for expansion. When the sinuses expand due to infection, allergies, or congestion, they can become very painful and their proximity to the eyes and brain means that those areas can be affected as well. A sinus headache is usually experienced as a frontal headache, which can be dull or severe, frequently involving the face and eyes and often accompanied by nasal discharge.

Hangover Headaches

One of the most familiar types of headaches—the hangover headache—is a form of vascular headache as well. Alcohol expands blood vessels. After a night out, when you lie (or fall) down to go to sleep, blood flow begins to slow, and since you’re lying down, it tends to pool up in the vessels in the brain. In other words, the vessels have an extra-long time to get acquainted with the alcohol in that six-pack you drank that’s now in your blood. This leads to expansion and, ultimately, to the infamous “morning after” headache.

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