Headache is pain in any region of the head. they may occur on one or both sides of the head, be isolated to a certain location, radiate across the head from one point, or have a vise like quality.
A headache may appear as a sharp pain, a throbbing sensation or a dull ache. They can develop gradually or suddenly, and may last from less than an hour to several days.
Your headache symptoms can help your doctor determine its cause and the appropriate treatment. Most of them aren’t the result of a serious illness, but some may result from a life-threatening condition requiring emergency care.
Headaches are generally classified by cause:
A primary headache is caused by over activity of or problems with pain-sensitive structures in your head. A primary headache isn’t a symptom of an underlying disease.
Chemical activity in your brain, the nerves or blood vessels surrounding your skull, or the muscles of your head and neck (or some combination of these factors) can play a role in primary headaches. Some people may also carry genes that make them more likely to develop such headaches.
The most common primary headaches are:
A few headache patterns also are generally considered types of primary one, but are less common. These headaches have distinct features, such as an unusual duration or pain associated with a certain activity.
Although generally considered primary, each could be a symptom of an underlying disease. They include:
- Chronic daily headaches (for example, chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, or hemicranias continua)
- Cough headaches
- Exercise headaches
- Sex headaches
Some primary headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, including:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
- Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
- Poor posture
- Skipped meals
A headache can be a symptom of a serious condition, such as a stroke, meningitis or encephalitis.
Go to a hospital emergency room or call 911 or your local emergency number if you’re experiencing the worst headache of your life