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4 Types of Common Headache Disorders

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Did you know that about 52% of the global population is affected by headache disorders every year, with 14% suffering from migraines? Tension and cluster headaches are reported to be the most common disorders of the nervous system, and headaches are more commonly reported in females than males. If left untreated, headaches disorders can be debilitating.


Finding a personalized headache or migraine treatment is one of the first steps to take, and our headache specialists in both Ahwatukee and Scottsdale are working to reduce or eliminate headaches and migraines every day. First, let’s learn about four of the most common headache disorders and how to treat them.


Classic Migraine

A classic migraine is a chronic headache disorder that occurs following a sensory disturbance known as an “aura”. Auditory or visual disturbances can include flashes of light, blurry vision, or numbness or tingling in the face, neck, or hands. The head pain related to this type of migraine is described as throbbing, and side effects can include nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light, sound, and smell.


To treat a classic migraine, it is recommended to take pain relievers, try preventative medications, and practice stress management. Keep track of your symptoms, and if the pain becomes unmanageable or impacts your daily life, consider reaching out to one of our specialists.


Cluster Headache

Cluster headaches are one of the most painful types of primary headache disorders, and they occur in patterns. These types of headaches generally present themselves in pain behind the eyes and can last for weeks or months at a time.


Treatment for cluster headaches is aimed at controlling symptoms and preventing them from worsening in the future, as there is no cure. Main treatments include inhaling oxygen through a mask, taking pain-relieving and preventative medication, nerve stimulation, or in rare cases, surgery.


Sinus Headache

Sinus headaches are very common, and about 80% of the time, a sinus headache is actually a migraine with nasal symptoms caused by acute sinusitis. As the sinuses build with inflammation, pressure swells in the sinus cavity which triggers a headache. These headaches are situational based on sinus issues.


Sinus headaches are typically treated by managing underlying sinus problems with antibiotics or steroids, or by using at-home remedies like a warm compress to the sinuses in the face, a vaporizer inhalation to relieve sinus congestion or saline nasal spray.


Tension Headache

By far the most common type of headaches, tension headaches form a dull, and aching pain across the forehead, almost as if a tight band is wrapped across. The cause of tension headaches is not well understood, as they can be triggered by several things ranging from stress to a change in weather.


To treat a tension headache common lifestyle and home remedies can help relieve symptoms. These remedies can include rest, hot or cold packs applied to the head, managing stress levels, and improving your posture are all simple ways to reduce the pressure from tension headaches.


At Foothills Neurology and our specialty center, the Phoenix Headache Institute, we strive to help all patients feel relief from headaches and migraines. Our specialists use cutting-edge treatments, technology, and research because we know that accurate treatment begins with strong diagnostic tools.


In fact, Foothills Neurology has been in the East Valley of the Phoenix Metro area for over 20 years and is known to provide patients with the best care possible. There are many treatments available for all types of headaches and migraines, so contact us today to get help and relief as quickly as possible.

Foothills Neurology