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What kind of headache do I have?

Dr. Angela Lowery, DNP
Family Practitioner

There are many different types of headaches. Some of the more common types of headaches are tension, cluster, migraine, sinus, and hormonal headaches.

The following are the most common types of headaches:

  • Tension: Mild to moderate steady pain throughout the head, but commonly felt across the forehead or in the back of the head. Generally tension headaches are not accompanied by other symptoms. They can affect children, but are most common in adults. Frequency varies and they generally last for hours.
  • Sinus: Mild to moderate steady pain that typically occurs in the face, behind the eyes, at the bridge of the nose, or in the cheeks. Sinus headaches may be accompanied by nasal congestion and postnasal drip. They affect people of all ages, and people with allergies seem most vulnerable. Frequency varies and they generally last for hours. Sinus headaches are often seasonal.
  • Migraine: Moderate to severe throbbing pain, often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound. The pain may be localized to the temple, eye, or back of the head, often on one side only. In migraine with aura, visual disturbance precedes the pain. Migraine headaches typically occur from childhood to middle age. In children, migraine is slightly more common among males, but after puberty, they're much more common in females. Migraine attacks last a day or longer. They tend to occur less often during pregnancy and with advancing age.
Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD
Cardiologist (Heart Specialist)
Not all headaches are created equal, so treating them is different depending on which kind you have. Find out as Dr. Oz explains which treatment is best for different kinds of headaches in this video.


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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.