What type of headache do you have?
Neurologist Dr. Juline Bryson reviews a patient's X-ray. A neurologist who specializes in migraines may be some patients' best chance to find relief. (Photo by Shravan Vidyarthi)
Various factors distinguish different types of common headaches, from location to duration. To consider what might be causing the pain in your cranium, review the following descriptions of common headaches:
CLUSTER: Occurs once or more daily during “cluster” periods on one side of the head for 15 minutes to three hours and sometimes characterized by congestion, tearing and agitation.
MIGRAINE: Expresses as a throbbing pain typically on just one side of the head that lasts from four to 72 hours and accompanied by either nausea or light or sound sensitivity. The intensity may increase with physical activity.
TENSION: Feels like a tight band pressing around both sides of the head and sometimes neck that lasts 30 minutes to a week and occurs infrequently to daily.
SINUS: Causes pressure around the eyes, cheeks and forehead, which might be coupled with sinusitis. Headaches can last up to five days or longer. People often mistake tension or migraine headaches for sinus headaches.
Sources: National Headache Foundation, Mayo Clinic