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There are very few people in the world who have not experienced a headache.
While many headaches are mild and benign, that is not always the case. Some types, like migraines, can be incredibly painful to the point of being debilitating.
To get the most effective pain relief possible, it is vital to know what kind of headache you have. One of the main ways to determine a headache’s type is through its location.
Here’s a quick guide on different headache locations, causes, and treatments.
What Do Different Headache Locations Mean?
The different headache locations help determine what type you are suffering from.
Through the location, the causes of headaches can be determined, allowing for more effective treatment.
Entire Head/Band Around Your Head
Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. They are often described as a tight band squeezing around your head and typically only last a few hours.
The causes of these headaches may include:
- Caffeine withdrawal
- Physical exertion
- Cold or flu
- Head trauma
Tension headaches are marked by muscle contractions in the head and neck and may cause pain in the neck area. This type of headache may indicate stress or neck problems.
One Side of Your Head
Migraines are typically only on one side of a person’s head, but they can be on both sides as well.
Migraines have more symptoms than many other types of headaches.
These symptoms can occur before, during, or after the actual migraine and may include:
- Throbbing, pulsating, or pounding
- Sensitivity to light, sound, and/or sound
- Nausea and vomiting
- Difficulty focusing
Because the symptoms of migraines are more unique than their location, doctors will use symptoms to diagnose or rule out migraines.
Migraines also have a variety of causes, making their treatment somewhat trial-and-error. Common causes of migraines include:
- Loud sounds
- Bright or flashing lights
- Specific odors
- Certain foods
- Change in weather
- Lack of sleep
- Change in hormones
- Skipping meals
Migraines can be caused by a variety of these triggers simultaneously. This makes it difficult to identify triggers, and because of that, they cannot always be identified.
One Side of Your Head and Around Your Eye
While cluster headaches are relatively uncommon, they are one of the most severe types of headaches.
They tend to come in clusters of one to eight per day for a few weeks or months. This occurs in yearly or bi-yearly cycles around the same time of year.
Common symptoms include:
- Burning, stabbing pain behind or around one eye
- Tearing and redness in the affected eye
- Smaller, constricted pupil
- Drooping eyelid
- A running or congested nose on the affected side
- Facial flushing
The pain may spread to the forehead, side of the head, neck, nose, or shoulder. This typically just occurs on the side the headache is on.
Front of Head and Face
Sinus headaches are caused by congestion in sinus passages behind the eyes, nose, cheeks, and forehead.
This type of headache is often confused with tension headaches or migraines. They can often be differentiated by being located behind the eyes. Headaches in this location are rarely eyestrain-related.
How to Treat Headaches
It may take trial and error to figure out which treatment works best for your headaches.
Here are some ways you can potentially ease headache pain:
- Go to a dark, quiet room. Lie down and take a nap if you can
- Apply cold or heat to the area that hurts
- Drink water to rehydrate
- Do deep breathing exercises
- Take pain medication as directed
If you suffer from severe or chronic headaches, go to a specialized headache facility—such as the one at this location—for a medical examination and treatment. Depending on the type of headache you have, you may be prescribed a triptan, ergot derivative drug, or combination analgesic and caffeine.
Treating Different Headache Locations
One of the main ways to identify headaches is through their location.
Different headache locations help with diagnosis and help identify the most effective treatments for a specific headache. This provides a better quality of life for the person suffering from severe, long-lasting headaches.
If you found this article informative, be sure to check out some of our other posts in the health and fitness section.