4 Common Types of Headaches – Symptoms & Duration

There are several hundred types of headaches, but there are four very common types: sinus, tension, migraine, and cluster. Headaches are always classified as either primary or secondary. A primary headache is a headache that is not caused by another condition or sickness. Causes of primary headaches include stress, sleep deprivation, alcohol, skipped meals, fatigue, and certain processed foods. Secondary headaches are due to another condition, such as an injury, infection, or sickness, and can range from harmless to very dangerous.

If you are experiencing headaches that occur more often than usual, are more severe than usual, do not improve with over-the-counter drugs, or keep you from participating in normal activities, please see a doctor.

4 types of headaches


Symptoms: pain in the face or neck, throbbing in one area, sensitivity to light and sound, nausea, distorted vision

Duration: 4 to 72 hours

Primary or secondary: Primary


Symptoms: dull pain on either side of the head, and pressure across the forehead

Duration: 30 minutes to several hours

Primary or secondary: Primary


Symptoms: pain in the face, sinuses, eyes, ears, or forehead, congestion, itching, runny nose, fever, swelling in the face

Duration: several days to weeks (if treated)

Primary or secondary: Secondary


Symptoms: severe pain on one side of the head, usually around the eye, accompanied with a drooping eyelid, small pupil, tearing, runny nose or redness on the same side of the head

Duration: cluster periods can last for weeks or several months, usually followed by a period of remission that can last for several months or several years.

Primary or secondary: Primary


If you are in the Columbus, Ohio area and you are suffering from headaches, contact us to make an appointment at our Headache & Brain Health Clinic today! We can tell you what type of headache you are suffering from and help you find the relief you deserve.

You will be seen by expert Neurosurgeon, Dr. Joseph Shehadi MD. He also specializes in Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Therapies. For more information on Regenerative Medicine, visit the Phenicell Regenerative Institute.