Among primary headaches, nearly 90% are categorized under migraine, tension headache, and cluster headaches. In terms of prevalence and actual clinical diagnosis, episodic tension-type headache (TTH) is the most frequent type suffered by many; most people who experience tension headache rarely seek medical attention, however.
On the other hand, among those who do seek medical attention, migraine is the most common diagnosis.
Cluster headache has the lowest prevalence, but often causes the most significant disability. As a result, majority of sufferers immediately seek medical attention for the condition.
What type of headache do you have?
Migraine is often characterized by recurring attacks that may occur only one side (unilateral) and described as either throbbing or pulsing. Sufferers also often experience nausea, vomiting, and/or extreme sensitivity to light and/or sound. This headache can be triggered by stress, menstruation, visual stimuli, weather changes, nitrates, fasting, wine, sleep disturbances, and aspartame, among others. The recurring attacks are more often than not disabling.
Tension headache is often a mild to moderate and non-throbbing pain that is felt on both sides (bilateral).
Cluster headache is often a severe, unilateral attack usually around the area of the eye or the temple, and also often accompanied by various other symptoms. These other symptoms are also felt on the same side as the headache, and include eye redness, tearing, drooping of the eyelid, runny nose, and/or nasal congestion. A cluster headache can reach full intensity in a few minutes, and usually lasts between 15 minutes and two-and-a-half hours.