We have all experienced a headache at one time or another, and man, are they a pain in the neck, or should I say pain in the head?  In fact, 93% of people experience a headache at least once. As for the other 7%, are we jealous? For us unlucky ones, the key to preventing headaches is understanding the cause.

There are two main categories of headaches. Primary headaches,  such as migraines, are considered the actual condition. Secondary headaches, such as sinus headaches, are a symptom of an underlying condition. Headache treatments vary by type, but did you know there are 150 different kinds of headaches? We get headaches for several reasons. Most are not a cause for concern unless the pain is associated with neurological symptoms, head trauma, or shortness of breath, but they can be painful. Here are five of the most common headaches and how to treat or prevent them.  

  • Keenan Constance/Unsplash
    Keenan Constance/Unsplash

    Tension Headache

    Have you ever felt like there is a tight band around your head? That is a tension headache, and it is the most common type of primary headache. Tension headaches are caused by tense neck muscles, stress, eye strain, or poor sleep. The best way to prevent them is to relax your neck, manage stress, reduce screen time, and get adequate rest. Over-the-counter pain relievers also help. 

  • Yuris Alhumayd?Unsplash
    Yuris Alhumayd?Unsplash


    A migraine is more than just a one-sided headache. Migraines can last several days with feelings of intense throbbing pain, nausea, or vomiting that cause sensitivity to movement, sound, smell, and light. Migraines can be genetic or environmentally influenced. Try to catch one during the pre-headache phase to avoid severe pain. Doctors may also prescribe medication for chronic migraines.  

  • Adrian Swancar/Unsplash
    Adrian Swancar/Unsplash

    Cluster Headache

    Cluster headaches describe a series of short-lasting headaches that occur multiple times a day for weeks or months. They feel like a piercing pain behind the eye with no exact known cause. Doctors believe smoking, drinking, and sleep apnea can make a person more susceptible.

  • Engin Akyurt/Unsplash
    Engin Akyurt/Unsplash

    Dehydration Headache

    A dehydration headache causes dull pain and occurs when the body is dehydrated. Dehydration headaches are usually accompanied by other signs of dehydration and are treated and prevented by drinking enough water.  

  • Brittany Colette/Unsplash
    Brittany Colette/Unsplash

    Sinus Headache

    Sinus infections cause pain and pressure around the forehead, cheekbones, and nose, which may cause a headache around the front of the head. Unlike migraines with nasal symptoms, sinus headaches accompany a fever and go away after treatment. Loosen sinus pressure with decongestants and eliminate the infection with antibiotics for relief. Also, try a neti pot or saline nasal rinse to clear your sinuses.

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