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What Is A Headache?

What is a headache?
A headache is defined as an ache or pain in the head caused by irritation to the nerves around the face, neck, skull or head. A headache is often described as dull, throbbing, sharp and gradually or it can suddenly appear and can last for hours or days. The International Headache Society categories headaches two ways: primary and secondary.

What is a primary headache?
A primary headache is a headache that is considered a standalone illness. That means that the headache is caused by over activity and/or problems with structures in the head that are sensitive to pain. Common primary headaches include migraines, tension and cluster headaches.

What is a secondary headache?
A secondary headache is a headache that is a symptom of another condition. That means another condition causes the headache. For example, you may have a secondary headache if you are dehydrated, have influenza or have a concussion. In some cases, a secondary headache could be a result of a more serious condition.

What does episodic and chronic mean when it comes to headaches?
An episodic head means that the headache can last for a few hours but could last for a few days. Whereas a chronic headache is considered to be continuous, as in, they occur for 15 days or more in a month.

What are the symptoms of primary headaches?

  • Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headaches. A tensionheadache is often described as a tight band feeling around the head with a constant, dull ache on both sides of the head. The pain can spread to or from the neck.
  • Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. Migraine headaches may cause a pulsating, throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head. Other symptoms include lightheadedness, blurred vision, nausea and sensory disturbances.
  • Cluster headaches are the most uncommon type of primary headache. A cluster headache can typically strike quickly with little to no warning. Cluster headaches are described as sharp or burning, and typically are located around one eye. The affected area can become swollen and red.

If you experience headaches on a regular basis, it is important to seek help. Once you know what type of headache you are experiencing it is easier to understand your triggers and find treatment that works for you.


What are headaches? What causes headaches?, http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/73936.php#signs_and_symptoms

How to use this classification, http://ihs-classification.org/en/01_einleitung/03_anleitung/