What are the Symptoms of Vascular Headache?

What are the Symptoms of Vascular Headache?

Vascular headaches are a group of primary headache disorders that involve abnormalities in blood vessels. They often cause severe headache pain, typically on one side of the head. The two most common types of vascular headaches are migraine and cluster headaches. Symptoms of vascular headaches can include:

  • Throbbing or Pulsating Pain: Migraine headaches are often described as a throbbing or pulsating pain, which can be severe.
  • Unilateral Pain: Both migraines and cluster headaches typically affect one side of the head, although the side may vary between attacks.
  • Intense Pain: The pain associated with vascular headaches is usually severe, often leading to a disabling or incapacitating headache.
  • Duration: Migraine attacks can last anywhere from a few hours to several days, whereas cluster headaches are shorter in duration but occur more frequently.
  • Nausea and Vomiting: Nausea and vomiting are common accompanying symptoms of migraine headaches.
  • Light and Sound Sensitivity: Sensitivity to light (photophobia) and sound (phonophobia) often occurs during migraine attacks.
  • Aura (Migraines Only): Some migraine sufferers experience an “aura” before or during the headache, which may involve visual disturbances like flashing lights or blind spots.
  • Autonomic Symptoms (Cluster Headaches Only): Cluster headaches may cause autonomic symptoms, such as tearing of the eye, nasal congestion, or drooping eyelid on the affected side of the head.
  • Restlessness (Cluster Headaches Only): People with cluster headaches may exhibit restlessness, pacing, or agitation during an attack.
  • Regular Timing (Cluster Headaches Only): Cluster headaches often occur at the same time each day or night and tend to come in clusters, usually lasting several weeks or months, followed by headache-free periods.

It’s important to note that the symptoms and patterns of vascular headaches can vary from person to person. Diagnosis and management of vascular headaches may require consultation with a healthcare provider, typically a neurologist or headache specialist. Treatment options may include lifestyle modifications, medications to relieve acute symptoms, and preventive therapies to reduce the frequency and severity of attacks. If you experience severe or recurrent headaches, it’s essential to seek medical evaluation to determine the specific type of headache and develop an appropriate treatment plan.

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