Headaches

Also known as: head pain, cephalalgia

What are headaches?

Any type of pain in the head, neck, and face can be classified as a headache.  Headaches come in many different forms and vary in cause and severity.  Some pass on their own in a short time, while others are severe and require treatment.
 

What causes headaches? 

Headaches are typically divided into two categories; “primary” and “secondary”. “Secondary” means the headaches are due to another medical or neurologic condition or sometimes medication.  “Primary” means that they occur because you are prone to them, often because of a genetic predisposition. In patients with primary headache disorders, there are many potential triggers.  The most common primary headache disorders in the general population are tension type headache and migraine.
 

What are the symptoms of headaches? 

Headache pain can range from a dull ache or squeezing sensation, to a severe sharp pain or throbbing, to shooting. Pain may be present in only one part of the head or the entire head at once. Headaches can last anywhere from seconds to months.  Certain headache types may be associated with other symptoms, such a light or sound sensitivity, nausea and vomiting, dizziness, vision changes, numbness or tingling, and eye tearing or runny nose.    
 

What are headache care options? 

The options for treatment vary depending on the type of headache being treated, but typically may include a combination of medication, lifestyle modifications, psychological interventions, and occasionally procedures. 

Reviewed by: Suzanne Hagler MD

This page was last updated on: 6/15/2018 8:03:04 AM


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Get your FREE Water Watcher Card here!
06/29/2018 — Prevent drowning and accidents when children are near water by assigning a responsible adult to wear a Water Watcher Badge. The badge wearer takes responsibility to supervise the children until hading off to the next water watcher. Available at selected urgent care centers while supplies last.
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After Astry was born, her parents noticed that she wasn't progressing as babies typically do. She wasn't able to lift her head and she showed a lot of muscle weakness. Her pediatrician recommended they take her to see a neurologist, and so Astry's parents brought her to Nicklaus Children's Hospital.