Symptoms of Migraine & Headaches

This throbbing type of headache is distinguished by the fact that symptoms other than pain occur with the headache. Learn more about the symptoms of migraine and headaches ›

Tension Headaches

Tension headaches are the most common type of headache. Stress and muscle tension are often factors in tension type headaches. Tension headaches typically do not cause nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light (photophobia).

While symptoms may differ, the following are common symptoms of a tension type headache:

  • slow onset of the headache

  • head usually hurts on both sides

  • pain is dull or feels like a band or vice around the head

  • pain may involve the back (posterior) part of the head or neck

  • pain is mild to moderate, but not severe

The symptoms of tension headaches may resemble other conditions or medical problems. Always consult your physician for a diagnosis.

Learn more about tension headaches

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Cluster Headaches

Relative to other types of primary headache, cluster headaches are rare. The pain they produce is severe and tends to recur in the same way each time for individuals who experience cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches occur in groups, or clusters, and individual attacks last about one to three hours on average. The frequency of occurrence may range from every other day to multiple times a day. Cluster periods are followed by remissions that may last months or years. 

While symptoms may differ, the following are common symptoms of a cluster headache:

  • Sudden onset of pain, generally around or behind the eye (retro-orbital)

  • Pain builds to a peak in about 10 to 15 minutes

  • Restlessness or agitation

  • Red or watering eyes

  • Nasal congestion

  • Sweating on the forehead

  • Eyelid drooping or swelling

Learn more about cluster headaches

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Which of the following is a treatment option for migraines?