HEADACHES yearly effect more than 45 million Americans who spend $4 billion on analgesics to mask their symptoms.
TENSION HEADACHES cause over 90% of headaches and are caused by constricting blood vessels in the head. These may be a symptom of anxiety, stress, physical tension, lack of sleep, over consumption of caffeine, food allergy, eye strain, fever, hypoglycemia, drug side effects, PMS, dehydration, or trauma. Tension headaches are typically dull and persistent, affecting both sides of the head.
MIGRAINE HEADACHES are usually on one side of the head. They are severe, recurrent headaches typically accompanied by nausea, vomiting, "auras" (visual disturbances), lightheadedness, intolerance to light, and numbness or tingling in the head or arms. Attacks last 4 to 72 hours and occur an average of one to four times a month. About 17% of American women and 6% of men suffer migraine headaches.
CLUSTER HEADACHES do not last as long as migraines, but pain can be as severe. They are usually localized on one side of the head and occur in clusters over a period of weeks or months, as in the spring or fall. They mainly effect men.
SUDDEN SEVERE HEADACHES CAN INDICATE SOMETHING MORE SERIOUS, for example, hemorrhage or bleeding inside the brain. If accompanied by stiff neck and fever it may indicate meningitis or meningoencephalitis.