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Edinboro University & Northwestern Pennsylvania High School Journalism Competition: Third Place (Website)

Examining different types of headaches


Meanwhile, On Muni via photopin (license)

Have you ever woke up in the morning with a pounding sensation in the head? A high-tension headache wreaking havoc on your concentration and generally leaving you uncomfortable? You’re not the only one, headaches are a very common occurrence among people. But is there anything you can do while suffering through a headache? First it’s good to understand what kind of headache you have in the first place. Treatment can vary depending on the kind that you experience.

Tension Headaches

This kind of headache is the most common type of headaches among adults and adolescents. These are caused by muscle contraction and cause mild to moderate pain, and can go over a long period of time. More than likely, this is what you are experiencing.

Taking a painkiller and going on with your day is your best bet if you experience this type of pain. Thankfully it’s the least severe, and the most easily avoided with medication. Something such as Advil may help with this kind of headache.


Surprisingly, the exact cause of migraines are unknown despite having such a good scientific community today. Migraine pain is moderate to severe, often described as a pounding or throbbing sensation in your head. These can last from four hours to three days, and it usually occurs one to four times per month if you experience head pains often. These are associated with symptoms such as sensitivity to light, noise, or odors.

When you experience a migraines, it’s a good idea to stay home and find a dark, quiet place to rest in. This will take the edge off of the pain until it fades away completely with time.

Cluster Headaches

This is the least common, but the most severe type of headache. The pain can be described as having a burning or piercing quality that is throbbing or constant. The pain is located behind one eye, or in the eye region without changing sides. These can occur one to three times per day during a cluster period, which may last two weeks to three months. These headaches may disappear completely for months or years, only to recur.

It’s good to find a doctor if you experience this type of headache, dealing with it on your own without medication can be extremely uncomfortable without any peace of mind.

Sinus Headaches

These are associated with a deep and constant pain in the cheekbones, bridge of the noise, or forehead. Sinus headaches are one of the easiest in which you can diagnose yourself. However, sinus headaches usually come with other sinus symptoms such as nasal discharge, feeling of fullness in the ears, or even a fever.

So now that there is a general understanding on what types of headaches they are, another big question is, are headaches hereditary?
Regretfully, yes. Headaches do have a tendency to run in the family. If, for instance, your father had headaches and migraines often, there is a big chance that if you as a child have some as well, it will be something quite long lasting in your life.
The bottom line is that headaches are things which you may have to deal with through your life without any relief. Your best option is to figure out what you are experiencing, and decide if you need to visit a doctor, or if you can treat it yourself.

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