While most headaches are not dangerous, some might signal a health condition that can be more serious. You should seek immediate medical attention if you start experiencing head pain along with weight loss, fever, fainting, confusion, loss of consciousness, loss of vision, imbalances, weakness or a speech impairment, says Dr. Monteith.
1. Location: Around Your Entire Head
Ever feel like there is a tight band squeezing your entire head? “This is a normal description of a tension headache,” said Dr. Monteith.
This type of headache is commonly triggered by poor sleep and stress, tension headaches — characterized by tightness and pressure around your whole head — often go hand in hand with tension in the shoulders, neck and jaw.
2. Location: Behind One Eye
An excruciating headache that could hit you really fast behind one of the eyes is usually caused by a group of main headache disorders which is called trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias that are defined by unilateral pain in the head. The most common type is the cluster headache.
This type of debilitating headache happens in clusters of frequent attacks, which could persist for weeks or even months.
While pain is normally located around or behind one eye, it could spread to other areas of the face, neck, and head. Other symptoms connected to cluster headaches are: excessive tearing, stuffy or runny nose on the affected side, restlessness, redness of your eye on the side that’s affected, facial sweating on the side that’s affected, pale skin (pallor) or flushing of your face, swelling around one eye on the side that’s affected and drooping eyelid located on the affected side.
3. Location: Back of Your Neck and Head
If your headache pain is located around the back of your head, you might be having a cervicogenic headache. Otherwise called a secondary headache, this sort of head pain does not come from your head but instead radiates up from the neck.
Indeed, cervicogenic headaches are usually caused by neck issues (like pinched nerves, arthritis and sprained or strained neck muscles) or certain injuries. The pain normally begins at the base of the skull and then radiates up one part of your head. “This is due to the functional connectivity of the pain sensitive structures within the head and neck area,” says Dr. Monteith.
Difficulty and pain while moving your head and the pain gets worse in your neck are other symptoms of a cervicogenic headache.
4. Location: One Side of The Head
While many kinds of headaches can present mainly on one side of your head, a migraine is the most common, says Dr. Monteith.
Migraines can cause terrible throbbing or pulsing unilateral head pains that might last for hours or days. Symptoms such as extreme sensitivity to sound and light, vomiting and nausea usually come with the pain.
5. Location: The Front of Your Face and Head
Throbbing facial and head pain and pressure around your eyes, cheeks and forehead might signal a sinus headache. These types of headaches are usually accompanied by fatigue and nasal congestion and can worsen if you bend forwards.
Migraines can have similar symptoms, which can make it hard to distinguish between the two kinds of headaches. In fact, almost 90 percent of people that complain of having sinus headaches are then diagnosed with having migraines.