All of us suffer from a headache, sometimes. Any kind of pain in the region of head, scalp, or neck is called a headache. There are different kinds of headaches. Some are minor and last for some time, while others can last longer and may interfere with your work or other activities. Some headaches may even indicate life-threatening problems. Treatment of a headache depends on the underlying cause, but commonly involves analgesics.

Here are some of the most common types of headache:

Tension Headache Tension headaches are the most commonly prevalent. They are characterized by dull, constant pain with a sense of tight pressure all around the head. A tension headache can last anywhere from half an hour to several days. It is caused by tension in the muscles of the scalp, neck or face, which may be due to stress, anxiety, depression, too much exercise or sitting or sleeping in an uncomfortable position.

Migraine Headache Migraine headaches are characterized by severe, throbbing or pulsating pain, often on just one side of the head, which interferes with regular activities. Migraines are associated with symptoms such as sensitivity to light, noise or odours, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite and stomach upset or abdominal pain.

Cluster Headache Cluster headaches are episodes of repeated severe headaches that last no more than a few hours each. Headaches usually come on during sleep and may occur one or more times every day for a period of weeks or months. The pain comes on very quickly and is most often felt as a sharp stabbing pain behind one eye. Patients may also experience tearing, a drooping eyelid or reduced pupil size in one eye or congestion in one nostril. It is more common in young men than other age groups.

Sinus Headaches Sinus headaches are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement caused by inflammation in the sinus passages due to infection. Pain is usually worst upon waking and when leaning forward.

Hormone headaches Headaches in women are often associated with changing hormone levels that occur during menstruation, pregnancy and menopause. Chemically induced hormone changes, such as with birth control pills, also trigger headaches in some women.

Other Conditions Headaches can also be a symptom of other serious conditions, including:

Brain tumour

• Stroke

• Meningitis

• Influenza

• Encephalitis

PREVENTION There are ways to reduce the frequency and severity of headaches.

• Take proper medication as suggested by the doctor

• If you are suffering from migraine then avoid your triggers

• Get adequate sleep

• Minimize your stress

How are headaches treated? Your doctor may recommend a different type of treatment to try or he/she may recommend further testing. Consult him/her to evaluate your headache symptoms.