Headache is one of the most common medical complaints.
- Migraine: the headache is usually unilateral, pulsing, accompanied by nausea, vomiting, or light or sound sensitivity. Migraine headaches are typically disabling and can last up to 24 hours.
- Tension type: Typically presents mild to moderate intensity, band-like, squeezing non throbbing quality, not aggravated by activity, and lasting 30 minutes.
- Cluster headache: Unilateral, severe headache attacks with symptoms on the same side of the pain including tearing, runny nose or congestion, sweating, or periorbital swelling. The intensity can reach its peak within minutes and last 1-2 hours.
- Secondary headache: Headache may also be due to another systemic disorder such as fever, elevated blood pressure, sinusitis, and disorders of the neck.
- Need for emergency evaluation: sudden onset of headache that reaches max intensity in seconds (“thunderclap” headache), acute neck pain, fever, altered mental status, or visual impairment.