Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Types of Headache
It can be hard for your doctor to tell
whether you have migraine headaches, tension headaches,
sinus headaches, cluster headaches, or a combination of these types. The symptoms of these headaches are
often the same, and no test can diagnose headaches.
Listing a few key features of your headaches may
help your doctor find out what type of headache you have. This can help your
doctor treat your headaches.
For example, you
may think that your headaches are sinus headaches. But if they happen often and
interfere with your daily life, they probably are migraines. A true sinus
headache is caused by a sinus infection.
Where the pain
the pain is
that make it worse
Usually on one side of your head with pressure
behind one eye
Throbbing, pulsating headache that is moderate
Pain gets worse with normal physical
Around your eyes, cheekbones, forehead, and
bridge of the nose
Deep and constant headache pain
Leaning over, sudden movement, or exercising may
make the headache worse.
On both sides or all over your
Deep, pressing, tightening headache that does
not throb or pulse and is mild to moderate
Physical activity does not make headache
On one side of the face, head, or
neck; does not switch
Piercing pain that gets very bad very fast, usually
within 5 to 10 minutes
Lying down makes it worse.
ByHealthwise StaffPrimary Medical ReviewerAnne C. Poinier, MD - Internal MedicineSpecialist Medical ReviewerKathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Current as ofFebruary 19, 2016
Current as of:
February 19, 2016
Anne C. Poinier, MD - Internal Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2016 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
Our interactive Decision Points guide you through making key health decisions by combining medical information with your personal information.
You'll find Decision Points to help you answer questions about:
Get started learning more about your health!
Our Interactive Tools can help you make smart decisions for a healthier life. You'll find personal calculators and tools for health and fitness, lifestyle checkups and pregnancy.
Feeling under the weather?
Use our interactive symptom checker to evaluate your symptoms and determine appropriate action or treatment.