The Different Types of Headaches and Their Causes

Most of the time, physical conditions that are categorized as ailments tend to be overlooked at. Although it can be reasonable for you to think so, some of these conditions, no matter how minor, should be a concern for you as they can be symptoms or signs of something that could lead to a moderate or very serious health complication. An example of a symptom like this is headaches. A common misconception about headaches is that they all basically feel the same, and that they only differ in intensity of pain. However, there are actually various types of headaches that are caused by different reasons. It is important for you to know what kind of headache you are experiencing so you’d know how to relieve yourself from it, and prevent it from happening ever again. Here are the major types of headache you should know about:

Tension/Stress-Caused Headache

This is the most common type of headache experienced by most teens and adults. Oftentimes, this mental and/or emotional stress is caused by the struggles of one’s career or personal life, and a headache is the manifestation of this stress. This type of headache is an ailment and is correctly labeled so. They do not need medical intervention for they can be relieved with enough rest and relaxation, and home remedies like hot tea and massages.


This type of headache is excruciatingly painful. It is experienced mostly at the back of the head or at certain parts of the head like on the sides. They can persist and recur for a few days. Experiences like having smell and light sensitivity, blurred vision, and fever are symptoms of this headache. If experienced, you should instantly help relieve yourself to avoid having a complete migraine.

Cluster Headache

Screen Shot 2018 07 04 at 10.53.46 PM - The Different Types of Headaches and Their Causes A cluster headache gives a feeling of piercing pain around or behind the eye region. This is known because some people find it relieving when they apply pressure on their eyes. Even though t his is not very common, the pain it causes can be severe. Cluster headaches bring along with them stuffy nostrils or runny noses. Sometimes, after disappearing completely, they recur and attack several times a day which will cause restlessness and uneasiness. The cause of this type of headache remains to be unkn own but hereditary roots can still be found. Cluster headaches can be reduced with certain medications and home remedies.

Sinus Headache

This type of headache is caused by the inflammation of the sinuses. The common causes of inflammation are allergies, infections, or colds. With a headache like this, you would feel pain on your cheekbones, nose, and forehead. They can also cause fever and swelling in some parts of the face. For a quick relief, this type of headache is treated with antibiotics and antihistamines.

Hormone-Induced Headache

Experienced mostly by women, this type of headache occurs when the levels of hormonal undergo a change especially in times of pregnancy and menopause. Even though it can be quite painful, they do not last long, and they are not severe in nature.

Secondary Headaches

Experiencing a secondary headache means that there is an underlying ailment in your system. These ailments may be caused by swelling within the brain, head trauma, neck injury, transient ischemic attack, carotid artery inflammation, etc. Basically, this type of headache is an echo or a side effect of a condition that is present in your body.

Medication-Induced Headache

Some medications used for specific medical conditions can cause headaches. Examples of these are erectile dysfunction drugs, oral contraceptives, and cardiac medications. Also, excessive usage of a certain medication can also cause headaches. Almost like secondary headaches, this type of headache is a rebound headache wherein it is a side effect of a specific medication.

Thunderclap Headache

Screen Shot 2018 07 04 at 10.57.17 PM - The Different Types of Headaches and Their Causes Also called as lone acute severe headache, the thunderclap headache is considered to be the most painful type of headache. Although they do not last very long, the pain it causes can be very excruciating. In very few cases, it leads to an onset of medical problems like subarachnoid hemorrhage. Now that you know what the types of headaches are, find out why they happen on the following causes:

Environmental Factors

Certain smells especially ones that are strong can be a triggering factor. Environment factors like food allergies and polluted air can cause headaches to some people.


Most of the time, headaches occur because of an already present ailment in your body. Headaches can be an effect of sinusitis, ear infection, throat infection, and many more.


Screen Shot 2018 07 04 at 10.58.41 PM - The Different Types of Headaches and Their Causes Physical stress like sleep and food deprivation leads to headaches. They are usually experienced on top of the head or on the back side.

Genetic Roots

Some headaches can be hereditary. Unfortunately, migraines can be passed on to your children and your children’s children. If you are aware that a certain headache runs in the blood, then it is advisable that as much as you can, avoid the triggering factors.

Medication Withdrawal

A headache may be caused when you stop or start using a certain medication. When your body develops dependence on a certain medication, a withdrawal syndrome may occur when the medication is stopped. Inversely, when you start a new set of medication, your body is going to have to adapt, and this can cause headaches as well. It is imperative to be aware of the types and causes of headaches for you to immediately respond with the appropriate approach and remedy. Even though there are recurring headaches that can be treated, know when to seek medical attention especially when your condition has reached an unbearable amount of time and pain.