Headaches are a common symptom of many illnesses and ailments. How a headache is treated depends on what kind of headache it is and what precisely is causing it. Usually headaches can be treated with non-opioid medication, but sometimes opioids are necessary.

Migraines are a common type of severe headache. They often centralize on one side of the head, and can be accompanied by symptoms such as phonophobia (sound hurting the ears), nausea and vomiting, photophobia (light hurting the eyes), and scintillating scotomata (parallel lines that vibrate at the edges of objects, especially at the borders between light and dark places). These auras can often be a warning sign that a migraine is coming.

Migraines are often treated with specific medication such as Sumatriptan (Imitrex), and sometimes Botox injections can help.

Another type of headache is the cluster headache. It often comes in groups, more than once a day, and can last for days or weeks. These headaches can be extremely painful. Doctors often use oxygen therapy to treat these kinds of headaches.

Sinusitis is yet another type of headache, often causing pain around the face. It’s typically worse in the morning. Antibiotics can be used to treat sinusitis, as can decongestants, though sometimes surgery is also necessary.

One more type of headache is trigeminal neuralgia, which is actually a peripheral neuropathy (nerve pain). Generally it is focused on one side of the head, and there is a “trigger point” on the face that will cause severe pain if it is touched. This type of headache often requires anticonvulsants (seizure medication) to treat it.

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