Headaches are an unfortunate part of life for most people. For some, they are minor, and come and go quickly. For others, headaches are frequent, painful and disruptive.

Types of Headaches

There are several common types of headaches, in addition to chronic and daily headaches.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine headaches are recurring, throbbing headaches that usually affect one side of the head. May include dizziness, lightheadedness or nausea.

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches cause pain or pressure around the face, head or neck when your muscles become tense.

Cluster Headaches

Cluster headaches are characterized by severe pain that occurs in patterns or clusters on one side of your head, usually around your eye. May cause watery or puffy eyes, redness or sweating.

Sinus Headaches

Sinus headaches occur when your sinus cavities become inflamed and can cause constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead or the bridge of your nose.

What Causes Headaches?

Very often, headaches are “triggered” by stress, foods you eat and even the weather. Identifying the underlying causes of your headache can help prevent future headaches, keep minor headaches from getting worse and relieve the suffering of major headaches.

Diagnosing the Cause of Your Headache

Your doctor will talk with you about your headache symptoms and frequency. It may help for you to keep a headache diary, listing circumstances or foods that may be triggering your headaches, or making them worse or better. You can begin tracking and monitoring your headache with Mercy's headache journal.

Your doctor may recommend additional testing, like a CT scan or MRI, to rule out other conditions or problems that might be causing your headaches.

Managing Headache Pain

Your treatment plan will depend on the severity of your headaches and how often you have them. Treatment options can include education and counseling, lifestyle changes, natural minerals and vitamins, prescription medications and Botox. When you start treatment, it’s a good idea to keep track of any changes in your headache diary so you and your doctor can adjust your treatment plan if needed.

Our goal is to identify the type of headache and underlying causes and to treat or help in managing the pain. At Mercy, you’ll find that effective management also means we provide compassionate care. We listen to and address all of your concerns: body, mind and spirit, so you can feel headache relief and return to a normal, active life.

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