Identify Headache Types by Location and Learn Helping Tips

May 21, 2024 | 2 min read

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Different headache locations, such as the forehead, temples, back of the head, around the eyes, top of the head, and one side of the head, have distinct causes, triggers, and symptoms. 

According to the WHO, Globally, headache disorders impact around 40% of the population, affecting approximately 3.1 billion people. Understanding headache types by location helps identify and manage pain effectively. 

Forehead Headache

Causes:

  • Stress
  • Tension
  • Sinus issues
  • Eye strain

Symptoms:

  • Dull, aching pain across the forehead
  • Tightness in the forehead
  • Pressure in the forehead
  • Sensitivity around the forehead area

Triggers:

  • Prolonged screen time
  • Poor posture
  • Dehydration
  • Stress
  • Bright lights
  • Loud noises

What the headache feels like: A forehead headache feels like a constant, dull ache or pressure across the forehead. The pain may worsen with stress or eye strain.

Non-medical Treatments:

  • Applying a cold or warm compress
  • Practicing relaxation techniques
  • Ensuring adequate hydration
  • Getting sufficient rest

Temples Headache

Causes:

  • Tension
  • Stress
  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches

Symptoms:

  • Throbbing or pulsating pain in the temples
  • Nausea
  • Light sensitivity
  • Aura

Triggers:

  • Stress
  • Lack of sleep
  • Dehydration
  • Certain foods
  • Hormonal changes
  • Strong smells

What the headache feels like: A temples headache feels like pulsating or throbbing pain in one or both temples. It may be accompanied by sensitivity to light or sound.

Lifestyle Changes:

  • Regular physical activity
  • Consistent sleep routine
  • Staying hydrated
  • Effective stress management

Back of the Head Headache

Causes:

  • Poor posture
  • Neck strain
  • Tension
  • Occipital neuralgia

Triggers:

  • Long periods of sitting or standing
  • Sleeping in an uncomfortable position
  • Stress
  • Neck injuries

Symptoms:

  • Sharp, jabbing pain in the upper neck
  • Pain at the base of the skull
  • Pain behind the ears
  • Sensitivity to touch in the affected area

What the headache feels like: A back of the head headache feels like sharp, stabbing pain in the upper neck and base of the skull. The pain can radiate to behind the ears.

Treatment options:

  • Applying a warm compress
  • Practicing good posture
  • Gentle neck stretches
  • Relaxation techniques

Headache Around the Eyes

Causes:

Triggers:

  • Allergies
  • Prolonged screen time
  • Stress
  • Bright lights

Symptoms:

  • Pain around the eyes
  • Redness and tearing in the eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Pressure in the forehead and cheeks

What the headache feels like: A headache around the eyes feels like intense pressure or throbbing pain around or behind the eyes. It is often accompanied by nasal congestion and eye redness.

Prevention:

  • Manage stress through relaxation techniques
  • Maintain good posture
  • Ensure proper eye care
  • Stay hydrated

Headache on the Top of the Head

Causes:

  • Tension
  • Stress
  • Muscle strain
  • Dehydration

Triggers:

  • Long periods of sitting or standing
  • Poor posture
  • Lack of sleep
  • Stressful situations

Symptoms:

  • Pressure or tightness on the top of the head
  • Dull, aching pain
  • Sensitivity to touch
  • Generalized discomfort in the scalp

What the headache feels like: A headache on the top of the head feels like a tight band or pressure on the crown of the head. The pain is usually dull and constant.

Headache on the Side of the Head

Causes:

  • Migraines
  • Cluster headaches
  • Tension
  • Temporal arteritis

Triggers:

  • Stress
  • Certain foods
  • Bright lights
  • Hormonal changes

Symptoms:

  • Throbbing or pulsating pain on one side of the head
  • Nausea
  • Sensitivity to light and sound
  • Visual disturbances

What the headache feels like: A headache on the side of the head feels like intense, throbbing pain on one side. It is often accompanied by nausea and sensitivity to light and sound.

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