There are two categories for headaches: primary and secondary. Primary refers to tension, migraine, and cluster headaches whereas the secondary type refers to those caused by infections or diseases.
Here, I will be focusing on the symptoms for Primary headaches only.
Tension Headache Symptoms:
-The pain begins at the back of the head and the upper neck and feels like a tight band around your head. The pain is most intense over the eyebrows.
-They are seldom associated with nausea and vomiting or sensitivity to light and sound.
-They usually occur infrequently with no fixed pattern. Although in some cases they can be frequent, even daily.
-Despite the pain, they do not stop you from getting on with you daily routine.
Migraine Headache Symptoms:
-40% – 60% of attacks are preceded by premonitory warning symptoms that can last hours or days. These symptoms may include: sleepiness, irritability, fatigue, depression or euphoria, yawning, and cravings for sweet or salty foods.
-Aura is usually associated with migraines in 20% of cases and comes before or in sync with the pain. The most common Aura symptoms are: a blind spot, flashing, brightly colored lights in a zigzag pattern that usually start in the middle of the visual field and progress outward. Less common is a pins-and-needles sensation on the same side of the body in the hand, mouth, arm and nose.
-Throbbing/pounding pain usually in one temple (although in some cases it can be located in the back of the head, the forehead or around the eye)
-Usually aggravated by light, sound and daily activities like walking up stairs and sudden movements.
-Usually accompanied by cold feet and hands, pale face, Nausea, Vomiting, and Diarrhea.
-Typical attacks can last anywhere from 4 to 72 hours.
-The pain is usually only on one side, although in about 1/3 of the cases it can be bilateral. Unilateral headaches usually change sides from one attack to another.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If unilateral attacks are always on the same side, this could be caused by a tumor. See your physician at once to rule out this possibility!
Cluster Headache Symptoms:
-More common in males
-The person is usually restless (pacing, and being driven to desperate measures due to the pain) as opposed to a migraine sufferer.
-excruciating pain around or behind one eye making it become red, inflamed and watery accompanied by a congested runny nose on the same side.
-These headaches come in groups and can be weeks or months long with pain once or twice a day, or more, and then may cease for months or even years.
-The pain lasts from about 30 minutes to one and a half hours at about the same time every day.
Although it is always advisable to see your doctor for a specific diagnosis on your case, you can get an idea of what your dealing with by looking over these symptoms to see if they sound familiar to you.