Headache Conditions

Headache Conditions Treatment by Dr. Vivek Loomba


Headache is a common condition that affects the majority of the population. There are several types of headaches that occur prominently around your face or head. Some headaches last for a few hours to a day while others happen on a regular basis and last for a week or two. Headaches and their complexity differ in severity, type, location, and frequency of the condition.

Types of Headaches

There are around 150 different types of headaches that are categorized on the basis of symptoms as primary and secondary headaches –

  1. Primary Headache – Overfunctioning of the brain or some underlying condition can cause some primary headaches to occur in an individual. Primary headaches are categorized into several types –
  2. Tension-type Headache
  3. Migraine Headaches
  4. Cluster Headaches
  5. Daily persistent headaches

Some headaches can also occur due to family genes or certain environmental factors such as –

  • Alcohol
  • Nicotine consumption
  • Poor posture
  • Physical activity or exercise
  • Lack of sleep
  • Skipping of meals
  • Fever symptoms like coughing, sneezing, blowing off the nose, straining, or crying.

Primary headaches do not last long but can be throbbing and painful affecting your daily life.

  • Secondary Headache – They are not dangerous but if left untreated can further cause severe complexity. It usually happens due to underlying medical conditions. 

Types of secondary headaches that are common and can be treated with underlying condition includes –

  1. Dehydration headache
  2. Sinus Headache
  3. Medication over drugs

Secondary headaches that are serious and life-threatening include –

  • Spinal Headaches – These happen when spinal fluids start leaking out of the membrane causing intense spinal cord pain. It can also be treated at home with proper diagnosis and medications. However, if left untreated can cause life-threatening illnesses resulting in severe diseases such as seizures and subdural hematoma.
  • Thunderclaps Headaches – An extremely painful headache that causes intense pain in a matter of 1 to 5 minutes. It is represented as a clap of thunder pain as it causes severe throbbing pain resulting through conditions such as –
  • Head injury
  • Bleeding in brain
  • Sudden rise in blood pressure

Symptoms of Headache

There are many different types of headache conditions, and each has its own set of symptoms. Some of the most common symptoms of headache conditions include:

  • Aching or throbbing pain in the head
  • Sensitivity to light or noise
  • A feeling of pressure in the head
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Dizziness
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Paralysis 
  • Change in vision
  • Numbness or tingling

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, it is important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your headache for appropriate treatment.

Causes of Headaches

The pain that causes headaches comes from a mix of signals from the brain, blood vessels, and nerves. Nerves send signals to the brain causing severe headaches. The major causes of pain signals include –

  • Illness
  • Stress
  • Environmental factors
  • Genetics

Diagnostic Tests

There are a variety of diagnostic tests that can be used to help identify the cause of a headache. These types of tests are not helpful in diagnosing migraines, cluster, or tension-type headaches. The tests help in diagnosing medical conditions that are causing these severe headaches. Some of the most common tests include blood tests, imaging tests, and lumbar punctures. 

  • Blood tests can help rule out certain causes of headaches, such as a brain tumor or an infection.
  • Imaging tests, such as a CT scan or MRI, can help identify structural problems in the brain that may be causing headaches. 
  • Lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, can help determine whether a headache is being caused by an infection or other problem in the spinal cord or brain.


Treatment for headaches can be identified after an examination of headaches by a healthcare professional. There are a variety of treatments that are available for headaches. 

Some people may only need to take over-the-counter medications, such as ibuprofen or aspirin, to treat their headaches. Others may need to take prescription medication or see a neurologist for more specialized treatment. On the other hand, some headaches can be easily managed by stress management, treating a medical condition, and biofeedback.

How to prevent headaches from occurring?

There are many ways that headaches can be prevented. The beneficial way to avoid headaches from happening is to understand the cause of your headache such as What triggers them? How to avoid those triggers from happening? Some of these preventive measures that need to be undertaken are –

  • Drinking plenty of water
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating healthy foods
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol intake
  • Avoid smoking
  • Taking breaks during extended periods of computer use
  • Practicing stress-relieving methods such as yoga or meditation

When to see a doctor?

If your headaches are returning often causing severe symptoms or conditions such as –

  • Severe headaches for one or more weeks.
  • Headaches getting worse day by day
  • Daily headaches cause the need to take over-the-counter medications for pain relief.
  • Headaches are triggered by coughing, exertion, or strenuous activity.
  • Mild Headaches turn into severe painful headaches.


The outlook for people with headache conditions varies depending on the specific condition. For example, migraine is a chronic condition that can cause severe pain and disability. However, there are treatments available that can help people manage their symptoms. Other types of headaches, such as tension-type headaches, are typically less severe and can often be treated with over-the-counter medications. In some cases, lifestyle changes or other therapies may be recommended.

Headaches can be caused by many different things, and it is important to find out what is causing them in order to get the best treatment. If you are experiencing headaches that are severe and unbearable then it is recommended to see a healthcare professional for accurate diagnosis and treatment plans to lead a healthy lifestyle.