Why Does Your Head Hurt? Types of Headaches Explained…

Headaches are a common occurrence, and they affect literally everyone in the world at some point in their lives. They can be caused by a lot of different problems, and each type of headache has its own origin. Understanding the different types of headaches can help you know why your head hurts:

Withdrawal Headaches

This is the kind of headaches you get when you’ve quit drinking coffee or smoking cigarettes. Your body has come to rely on caffeine or nicotine, and now that you’re depriving it, you’re feeling the side effects. Thankfully, this–like all other withdrawal symptoms–will fade once your body stops craving/depending on the caffeine or nicotine.

Eyestrain Headaches

If your headache is accompanied by tired, strained eyes, you know it’s time to give your eyes a break. The fact that we spend so many hours staring at computer screens and mobile devices all day long is one of the reasons these headaches are so common. They are especially common among those who need prescription glasses for working on the computer!

Migraine Headaches

This kind of headache is actually caused by nervous system malfunction. You won’t just feel headachy, but you’ll get a throbbing, pulsing in your head that may be accompanied by nausea and a sensitivity to light and/or sound. It’s simply overstimulation of a sensitive nervous system, but it can be very debilitating!

Hangover Headaches

These are the WORST! We’ve all had them the day after a drinking binge, and they are a terrible pounding in your head that makes you want to curl up and die. Oddly enough, they’re the result of dehydration more than anything else. Drinking more water is the simplest way to prevent these types of headaches.

Exertion Headaches

If you get a headache while exerting yourself (sneezing, blowing your nose, pooping, having sex, or laughing), it may be caused by an excessive build-up of spinal fluid. This build-up increases the pressure in your head, which can be painful. Thankfully, the headache will usually pass within a few minutes. However, if the headache recurs, it may be time to get to a doctor to ensure it’s not being caused by blood vessel problems.

Giant Cell Arteritis

This is a lesser-known cause of headaches, one that almost exclusively affects people over the age of 60. It’s characterized by a jabbing, boring, or burning pain in the head, and may also occur when chewing. This is a no-joke headache, as it is caused by inflammation and can lead to blindness and other serious permanent health effects. If you experience this type of headache, get to the doctor IMMEDIATELY!

Hypertension Headache

This is a headache only common among those with very high blood pressure–200/110 or above. Such a drastic increase in blood pressure leads to an increase of pressure in the cranial cavity, which can cut off blood flow to your brain. The pain may feel like you’re wearing a hat that is too tight, and it’s usually at its worst first thing in the morning when your blood pressure rises. The best way to deal with this headache: get your blood pressure back down to healthy levels!

Trigeminal Neuralgia

This pain feels like an electric shock, and it’s sharp and occurs when you touch your face or brush your teeth. It usually sets in either around your jaw or in your temples, and it may be caused by an artery pressing on one of the nerves in your face or head. Muscle relaxants can help to alleviate the pain, but in cases where the patient is younger than 55, it may indicate multiple sclerosis.


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