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Are There Different Kinds of Headaches?

Everyone gets a headache now and then. Usually, they are nothing to worry about, merely a painful nuisance. However, there are many different kinds of headaches, some of which can be cause for worry. The symptoms of various kinds of headaches can also be different.

Below are several different kinds of headaches that your aging relative may experience.

Tension Headaches

Senior Care Belton MO - Are There Different Kinds of Headaches?
Senior Care Belton MO – Are There Different Kinds of Headaches?

Tension headaches are one of the most common kinds of headache. They usually feel like dull pain that occurs on both sides of the head and is constant rather than throbbing. They can also cause a feeling of pressure behind the eyes or light and sound sensitivity. Some people feel pain in their shoulders, neck, or face, too. Tension headaches are typically triggered by stress, depression, and anxiety, but can also be caused by dehydration, loud noises, or a missed meal.

Migraine Headaches

Migraine pain is usually throbbing and happens on only one side of the head. Other symptoms of migraine include:

  • Sensitivity to lights, sounds, and smells.
  • Nausea.
  • Vomiting.
  • Experiencing auras before the headache starts.

Cluster Headaches

People with cluster headaches experience severe pain that can feel burning or piercing. The pain happens on one side of the head, behind the eye or in the face. Cluster headaches can also cause other symptoms on the side of the body that is affected. These symptoms may include:

  • Swelling.
  • Flushing.
  • Redness.
  • Sweating.
  • Nasal congestion.
  • Watering eye.

They are called cluster headaches because they happen in a series of several headaches. Each one will range in length from 15 minutes to as long as three hours. People who suffer from cluster headaches have between one and four headaches per day. They typically happen at around the same time of the day.

Medication-Overuse Headaches

Headaches can be caused by using certain kinds of medications too often. You may hear this kind of headache called a “rebound headache.” They can happen when a person takes painkillers on more than 15 occasions per month. Some of the medicines that can cause a medication-overuse headache are:

  • Opioids.
  • Acetaminophen.
  • Triptains.
  • NSAIDS, like aspirin and ibuprofen.

Senior care providers can help your aging relative to ease the pain of common kinds of headaches. A senior care provider can remind the senior to use an over-the-counter painkiller or to take medications prescribed by the doctor. Senior care providers can also offer a warm cloth to place on the back of the neck to ease tension. They can also gently rub the senior’s neck and shoulders. If the symptoms of a headache are particularly concerning, a senior care provider can make sure your aging relative receives medical care as soon as possible.


If you or an aging loved-one are considering Senior Care Services in the Belton MO area, please contact the caring staff at Elder Care of Kansas City, today. Proudly serving Jackson, Clay, Platte and Cass Counties in Missouri as well as Johnson and Wyandotte Counties in Kansas for over 30 years. Call us at 816-333-3322.

Kevin Edwards

Kevin’s life and the lives of his immediate family have been impacted by caregivers – either as a patient or a caregiver - for as long as he can remember.He watched his mother take care of his grandmother until her death at the age of 97.Five years later, his father passed from a neurological disorder that was subsequently confirmed as Lewy Body Dementia.In 2007, his wife, Lori, was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis.The symptoms of Lori’s disease required Kevin to hire a caregiver during the periods of her relapses.

Prior to purchasing Elder Care, Kevin spent over 20 years in the health insurance industry.In his most recent position, he was in a financial operations role with Humana where he worked with doctors, nurses and other health professionals developing programs to keep Humana members healthy.Their focus on primary care and medication adherence improved the lives of thousands of seniors in Kansas City and the surrounding area.

Kevin and his wife, Lori, have three children.Kevin has Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from the University of Missouri.

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