If you experience an occasional headache, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that up to 75% of adults worldwide had a headache in the past year.1 Head pain can result from any number of causes and come in many different varieties, including tension headaches, migraine headaches, and caffeine headaches.
Headaches can be debilitating, especially if you are getting them often. Head pain is one of the most common conditions MDLIVE board-certified doctors care for every year.
Get the facts on headaches.
Dr. Cynthia E. Collins, MDLIVE Clinical Medical Director, talks us through the facts about head pain, symptoms, and treatments. If you’re having frequent headaches or migraines, talk to an MDLIVE doctor in minutes to feel better faster.
What causes a headache?
While it may feel like it, a headache has nothing to do with your brain. Your brain tissue has no nerve fibers and doesn’t ‘feel’ pain. A headache is pain in the head or face area, the nerves that run over your scalp, or blood vessels at the base of your brain. Headaches can be hereditary, especially migraines, or can be caused by common triggers such as alcohol use, change in eating or sleeping patterns, depression, dehydration, muscle strain, weather changes, and eye, dental or jaw problems.
There are generally two kinds of headaches – primary and secondary. Primary headaches are head pain not triggered by other issues with your body. Secondary headaches are pain derived from one or more other health issues, including allergies, lack of caffeine or too much caffeine, hypertension, infection, illness, or injury. Cold food or drinks can also cause a headache called “brain freeze,” which is not serious and goes away quickly.
Some surprising causes of headaches.
While there are many common triggers for headaches, keep an eye out for some of the more uncommon causes:
Different types of headaches.
Where you are feeling the pain can help you determine which kind of headache you have: