Headaches - A Short Guide From Emed


August 4, 2022

There are 3 main types of headaches:

Tension headache – a “normal” headache, no special factors, can usually be taken care of with over the counter medication like aspirin or ibuprofen.

Cluster headache – these headaches are known for coming on fast and causing an incredibly strong pain, usually around the eye. They’re more common in men, the reason for this is not clear yet. They usually effect one side of the head. Over the counter medication can help with these as well.

Migraines – These headaches occur more often in women. Pain with these headaches can be harsh and intense. Symptoms can include vomiting, nausea, or light sensitivity in the midst of an attack. They can be counteracted with dietary changes, reducing caffeine intake, and prescription/non-prescription medications.

Tension Headaches

Common symptoms of the different types of tension headaches:

“Episodic” (headaches less than 15 days per month)

  • Light to medium, consistent pain in a band
  • Usually affects the top of the head (forehead, above the ears)
  • Can come on slowly, commonly in the middle of the day
  • Can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days

“Chronic” (headaches more than 15 days per month)

  • Can vary in pain level throughout the day, but almost always present
  • Comes and goes over a long period of time

Other symptoms include:

  • A headache upon waking
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Fatigue
  • Irritation
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Muscle aches


Common symptoms:

  • Medium to high pain
  • Light sensitivity
  • Noise sensitivity
  • Smell sensitivity
  • Blurred vision
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Sensations of being very warm or cold
  • Paleness
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness


Common symptoms:

  • Intense pain on one side of the head
  • Pain is usually located an eye
  • “Short” period of pain from half an hour to an hour and a half usually but can last up to 3 hours
  • Headaches occur on a somewhat regular schedule


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