Headache

MedicineNet - Headache

Symptom Checker: Symptoms & Signs Index

Medical Author:

Related
Symptoms & Signs

A headache is a pain in the head with the pain being above the eyes or the ears, behind the head (occipital), or in the back of the upper neck. Headache, like chest pain or back ache, has many causes.

All headaches are considered primary headaches or secondary headaches. Primary headaches are not associated with other diseases. Examples of primary headaches are migraine headaches, tension headaches, and cluster headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by other diseases. The associated disease may be minor or major.

Tension headaches are the most common type of primary headache. As many as 90% of adults have tension headaches. Tension headaches are more common among women than men.

Migraine headaches are the second most common type of primary headache. An estimated 28 million people in the US have migraine headaches. Migraine headaches affect children as well as adults. Before puberty, boys and girls are affected equally by migraine headaches, but after puberty more women than men have them. Migraine often goes undiagnosed or is misdiagnosed as tension or sinus headaches.

Cluster headaches are a rare but important type of primary headache, affecting mainly men. The average age of cluster headache sufferers is 28-30 years, although headaches may begin in childhood.

Secondary headaches may result from innumerable conditions, ranging from life threatening ones such as brain tumors, strokes, meningitis, and subarachnoid hemorrhages to less serious but common conditions such as withdrawal from caffeine and discontinuation of analgesics (pain killing medication). Many people suffer from "mixed" headache disorders in which tension headaches or secondary headaches may trigger migraine.

The treatment of the headache depends on the type and severity of the headache and on other factors such as the age of the patient.

Headache is also referred to as cephalgia.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/23/2012

Health concern on your mind? Visit the Symptom Checker.

REFERENCE:

Fauci, Anthony S., et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine. 17th ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Professional, 2008.

Causes of Headache
    • Aneurysm (Brain) Brain aneurysm (cerebral aneurysm) is caused by microscopic damage to artery walls, infections of the artery walls, tumors,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Aneurysm (Brain) Article
      • Brain aneurysm facts
      • What is a brain aneurysm and what causes a brain aneurysm?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of brain aneurysm?
      • How is brain aneurysm diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for brain aneurysm?
      • What is the outcome of brain aneurysm?
      • What are future directions for the treatment of brain aneurysm?
    • Asthma in Children Asthma in children manifests with symptoms such as coughing and wheezing. Rates of asthma in children are increasing. Asthma in...learn more »
      In This Article
      Asthma in Children Article
      • What is asthma in children?
      • How common is asthma in children?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of asthma in children?
      • How is asthma in children diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for asthma in children?
      • What is the prognosis for asthma in children?
      • Can asthma in children be prevented?
    • Astigmatism Astigmatism is an eye condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved and causes out-of-focus vision. Symptoms of astigmatism...learn more »
      In This Article
      Astigmatism Article
      • Astigmatism introduction
      • What is the definition of astigmatism?
      • What are the different types of astigmatism?
      • What causes astigmatism?
      • Who is at risk for astigmatism?
      • What are symptoms of astigmatism?
      • What are signs of astigmatism?
      • What tests are used to diagnose astigmatism?
      • What is the treatment for astigmatism?
      • What is the prognosis for astigmatism?
      • Can astigmatism be prevented?
    • Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Brain damage causes destruction or deterioration of brain cells. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) and acquired brain injury (ABI) are...learn more »
      In This Article
      Brain Damage: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment Article
      • Brain damage introduction
      • What are the types of brain damage and how severe are they?
      • What causes brain damage?
      • What are the symptoms of brain damage?
      • How are brain damage and brain injuries treated?
      • Can I prevent brain injuries?
    • Brain Lesions (Lesions on the Brain) Brain lesions (lesions on the brain) are caused by trauma, inflammation, autoimmune diseases, cancers, other diseases, stroke,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Brain Lesions (Lesions on the Brain) Article
      • Brain lesions facts
      • Brain anatomy
      • What are brain lesions?
      • What causes brain lesions?
      • What are the types of brain lesions?
      • What are the symptoms of brain lesions?
      • How are brain lesions diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for brain lesions?
      • Can brain lesions be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for brain lesions?
    • Brain Tumor A brain tumor can be either benign (non cancerous) or malignant (cancerous), primary, or secondary. Causes and risk factors...learn more »
      In This Article
      Brain Tumor Article
      • Brain tumor facts*
      • What is the brain?
      • What are the tumor grades and types?
      • Tumor grade
      • Types of primary brain tumors
      • What are the risk factors for brain tumors?
      • What are the symptoms of a brain tumor?
      • How are brain tumors diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a brain tumor?
      • What type of surgery is available for brain tumors?
      • Radiation therapy for brain tumors
      • Chemotherapy for brain tumors
      • What about a second opinion for brain tumor treatment?
      • Nutrition during brain tumor treatment
      • What supportive care is available for patients and caregivers?
      • What about rehabilitation after brain tumor treatment?
      • What about follow-up care after brain tumor treatment?
      • Sources of support
      • Taking part in cancer research
    • Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) A broken bone is a fracture. There are different types of fractures such as compressed, open, stress, greenstick, spiral,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Broken Bone (Types of Bone Fractures) Article
      • What is a broken bone (fracture)?
      • What causes a broken bone?
      • What are the most common types of broken bones?
      • Compression fracture
      • Skull fracture
      • Stress fracture
      • What are the most common bones that are broken?
      • Broken hand or fingers
      • Broken wrist
      • Broken hip
      • Broken leg
      • Broken toe
      • Broken shoulder
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a broken bone?
      • When should I call a doctor if I think I have broken a bone?
      • How is a broken bone diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a broken bone?
      • What about surgery for a broken bone?
      • How can fractures be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for a broken bone?
    • Cat Scratch Disease Cat scratch disease (CSD or cat scratch fever), a bacterial disease caused by Bartonella henselae, is characterized by fever,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cat Scratch Disease Article
      • Cat scratch disease facts*
      • What is cat scratch disease? What are cat scratch disease symptoms?
      • Can my cat transmit Bartonella henselae to me?
      • How can I reduce my risk of getting cat scratch disease from my cat?
      • How can I find more information about cat scratch disease?
    • Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Chronic fatigue syndrome is a debilitating and complex disorder characterized by profound fatigue that lasts 6 months or longer,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome Article
      • Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) facts
      • What is chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What causes chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are symptoms and signs of chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in men?
      • What are chronic fatigue syndrome symptoms in women?
      • How is chronic fatigue syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • Is there a cure for chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of chronic fatigue syndrome?
      • Can chronic fatigue syndrome be prevented?
      • Where can people find additional information about chronic fatigue syndrome?
    • Common Cold The common cold (viral upper respiratory tract infection) is a contagious illness that may be caused by various viruses. Symptoms...learn more »
      In This Article
      Common Cold Article
      • Common cold facts
      • What is the common cold, and what causes it?
      • How is the common cold transmitted?
      • What are risk factors for acquiring the common cold?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of the common cold in adults, children, and infants?
      • Does it have anything to do with exposure to cold weather?
      • What is the difference between the common cold and influenza (the flu)?
      • How do physicians diagnose the common cold?
      • What is the treatment for the common cold? Are there any home remedies for the common cold?
      • Are antibiotics a suitable treatment for the common cold?
      • When should a health-care professional be consulted?
      • What is the prognosis for the common cold?
      • What are complications of the common cold?
      • Is it possible to prevent the common cold?
    • Concussion Concussion is a short-lived loss of brain function that is due to head trauma. There are two types of concussion, simple and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Concussion Article
      • What is concussion and what causes concussion?
      • What are the types of concussion?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of concussion?
      • How is concussion diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for concussion?
      • How can concussion be prevented?
      • What is the future of concussion?
    • Cough Chronic cough is a cough that does not go away and is generally a symptom of another disorder such as asthma, allergic rhinitis,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Cough Article
      • What is chronic cough?
      • What are causes of chronic cough?
      • What are the different types of coughs?
      • How is chronic cough treated?
      • Are there home remedies for chronic cough?
      • Can chronic cough be prevented?
    • Dengue Fever Dengue fever is contracted from the bite of a striped Aedes aegypti mosquito. Symptoms of dengue include headache, fever,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Dengue Fever Article
      • Dengue fever facts
      • What is dengue fever?
      • What geographic areas are at high risk for contracting dengue fever?
      • How is dengue fever contracted?
      • What are dengue fever symptoms and signs?
      • How is dengue fever diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for dengue fever?
      • What is the prognosis for typical dengue fever?
      • What is dengue hemorrhagic fever?
      • How can dengue fever be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on dengue fever?
    • Double Vision Double vision (diplopia) is a symptom that my indicate Graves' disease, myasthenia gravis, stroke, multiple sclerosis,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Double Vision Article
      • What is double vision?
      • What causes double vision?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of double vision?
      • How is the cause of double vision diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for double vision?
      • Can double vision be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for double vision?
    • Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Ebola hemorrhagic fever (HF) is an often-fatal disease that causes fever, headache, vomiting, diarrhea, sore throat, stomach...learn more »
      In This Article
      Ebola (Ebola Virus Disease) Article
      • Ebola hemorrhagic fever (Ebola virus disease) facts
      • What is Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the history of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What causes Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are risk factors for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are Ebola virus disease symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the treatment for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What are complications of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the prognosis of Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent Ebola hemorrhagic fever? Is there a vaccine for Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
      • What is the latest research on Ebola hemorrhagic fever?
    • Encephalopathy Encephalopathy means brain disease, damage, or malfunction. Causes of encephalopathy are varied and numerous. The main symptom of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Encephalopathy Article
      • Encephalopathy facts
      • Encephalopathy definition and overview
      • What causes encephalopathy?
      • What are the symptoms of encephalopathy?
      • How is encephalopathy diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for encephalopathy?
      • What are the complications of encephalopathy?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for encephalopathy?
      • Can encephalopathy be prevented?
      • For more information on types of encephalopathy
    • Fungal Meningitis Fungal meningitis is a rare disease that is not contagious. Symptoms include fever, headache, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting....learn more »
      In This Article
      Fungal Meningitis Article
      • Fungal meningitis facts
      • What causes fungal meningitis?
      • How is fungal meningitis transmitted?
      • What are risk factors for fungal meningitis?
      • What are fungal meningitis symptoms and signs?
      • How is fungal meningitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for fungal meningitis?
      • Can fungal meningitis be prevented?
      • Read more on encephalitis and meningitis symptoms
    • Glaucoma Glaucoma is a common eye condition in which the fluid pressure inside the eye rises because of slowed fluid drainage from the...learn more »
      In This Article
      Glaucoma Article
      • Glaucoma facts
      • What is glaucoma?
      • How common is glaucoma?
      • What causes glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma risk factors?
      • What are the different types of glaucoma?
      • What are glaucoma symptoms and signs?
      • How is glaucoma diagnosed?
      • How often should someone be checked (screened) for glaucoma?
      • What is the treatment for glaucoma?
      • Glaucoma medications (eyedrops)
      • Glaucoma surgery or laser
      • Can glaucoma be prevented?
      • What is in the future for glaucoma?
    • Hantavirus Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) is a disease transmitted by rodents. Symptoms include fever and muscle pain. HPS can be...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hantavirus Article
      • Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) facts
      • What is hantavirus?
      • What is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS), and what are hantavirus pulmonary syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • What is the history of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • What causes hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • How is hantavirus pulmonary syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • What are complications of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
      • Can hantavirus pulmonary syndrome be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on hantavirus pulmonary syndrome?
    • Heart Attack Heart attack happens when a blood clot completely obstructs a coronary artery supplying blood to the heart muscle. A heart...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Article
      • Heart attack facts
      • What is a heart attack?
      • What causes a heart attack?
      • What are the symptoms of a heart attack?
      • What are the complications of a heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for atherosclerosis and heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for heart attack?
      • What are the risk factors for heart attack in women?
      • What are the symptoms of heart attack in women and how is heart attack diagnosed?
      • How is heart attack in women treated?
      • What about hormone therapy and heart attack in women?
      • What is new in heart attack?
    • Heart Attack Treatment A heart attack involves damage or death of part of the heart muscle due to a blood clot. The aim of heart attack treatment is to...learn more »
      In This Article
      Heart Attack Treatment Article
      • What is a heart attack?
      • How is a heart attack treated?
      • Antiplatelet agents
      • Aspirin
      • Thienopyridines
      • Glycoprotein IIb/IIIa inhibitors
      • Anticoagulants
      • Clot-dissolving drugs
      • Coronary angiography and percutaneous transluminal coronary angioplasty (PTCA)
      • Coronary artery stents
      • Nitrates
      • Angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors
      • Beta blockers
      • Oxygen
      • Coronary artery bypass
      • What can a patient expect during recovery from a heart attack?
      • How can a second heart attack be prevented?
    • Hypoglycemia Hypoglycemia is a syndrome caused by low blood sugar. Symptoms of hypoglycemia include palpitations, trembling, intense hunger,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Hypoglycemia Article
      • What is hypoglycemia?
      • Who is at risk for hypoglycemia?
      • I thought high blood sugar was bad. Why is low blood sugar also bad?
      • Can the body protect itself from hypoglycemia?
      • What are symptoms of hypoglycemia and how low is too low?
      • How is hypoglycemia treated?
      • Is there anything else that should be done to manage hypoglycemia?
    • Jet Lag Jet lag (desynchonosis) is a temporary disorder that results from travel across time zones. Symptoms include anxiety,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Jet Lag Article
      • What is jet lag?
      • What are other symptoms and signs of jet lag?
      • What is a time zone?
      • Why does jet lag occur?
      • How does the body keep time?
      • What is the role of melatonin in jet lag?
      • Does the direction of travel matter?
      • Do the symptoms of jet lag vary in intensity?
      • How long does jet lag last?
      • What are the best ways to cope with jet lag?
      • Should I take melatonin?
    • Legionnaires' Disease Legionellosis is an infection caused by the Legionella pneumophila bacterium. There are two forms of legionellosis: Pontiac fever...learn more »
      In This Article
      Legionnaires' Disease Article
      • Legionnaires' disease and Pontiac fever (legionellosis) facts
      • What causes legionellosis? What is the history of Legionnaires' disease?
      • How common is Legionnaires' disease?
      • What are the usual symptoms of Legionnaires' disease?
      • How is the diagnosis of Legionnaires' disease made?
      • Who develops Legionnaires' disease?
      • What is the treatment for Legionnaires' disease?
      • How is Legionnaires' disease spread?
      • Where is the Legionella bacterium found?
      • How can Legionnaires' disease be prevented?
    • Leptospirosis Leptospirosis is an infectious disease that causes symptoms such as fever, headache, and chills. Treatment for leptospirosis...learn more »
      In This Article
      Leptospirosis Article
      • Leptospirosis facts
      • What is leptospirosis?
      • What causes leptospirosis?
      • What are risk factors for leptospirosis?
      • What are leptospirosis symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose leptospirosis?
      • What is the treatment for leptospirosis?
      • What is the prognosis of leptospirosis?
      • Is it possible to prevent leptospirosis?
    • Listeria Listeria is a type of bacteria that can cause food poisoning. Listeriosis symptoms include diarrhea, nausea and fever. Pregnant...learn more »
      In This Article
      Listeria Article
      • Listeriosis (Listeria monocytogenes infection) facts
      • What is listeriosis? What causes listeriosis?
      • What are listeriosis symptoms and signs?
      • What are the risk factors for listeriosis?
      • How is listeriosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for listeriosis?
      • How does a person get listeriosis?
      • Can listeriosis be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis (outcome) for Listeria infections?
      • If a person has eaten recalled food potentially contaminated with Listeria, what should he or she do?
      • What is the government doing about listeriosis?
    • Lupus Systemic lupus erythematosus is a condition characterized by chronic inflammation of body tissues caused by autoimmune disease....learn more »
      In This Article
      Lupus Article
      • Systemic lupus erythematosus facts
      • What is systemic lupus erythematosus? What are the types of lupus?
      • What causes systemic lupus erythematosus? Is lupus hereditary?
      • What is drug-induced lupus?
      • What are lupus symptoms and signs?
      • How is systemic lupus erythematosus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for systemic lupus?
      • How can a lupus patient help prevent disease activity (flares)?
      • How can systemic lupus erythematosus affect pregnancy or the newborn?
      • What is the prognosis of lupus? What does the future hold for people with systemic lupus?
      • Where can one get more information about systemic lupus erythematosus?
    • Malaria Malaria is a disease that is spread by the bite of an infected Anopheles mosquito. Malaria symptoms include fever, chills,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Malaria Article
      • Malaria facts
      • What is malaria?
      • What causes malaria?
      • What are risk factors for malaria? Is it possible to prevent malaria?
      • What are malaria symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose malaria?
      • What is the treatment for malaria?
      • What is the prognosis of malaria?
      • Is there a malaria vaccine?
      • Can malaria reoccur after treatment?
    • MELAS Syndrome MELAS syndrome, a rare form of dementia, stands for Mitochondrial Encephalopathy, Lactic Acidosis, and Stroke-like episodes....learn more »
      In This Article
      MELAS Syndrome Article
      • What is MELAS?
      • What causes MELAS?
      • What are the symptoms of MELAS?
      • How is MELAS diagnosed?
      • When do people with MELAS develop symptoms?
      • How is MELAS treated?
      • are there other mitochondrial diseases?
    • Meningitis Encephalitis is a brain inflammation that causes sudden fever, vomiting, headache, light sensitivity, stiff neck and back,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Meningitis Article
      • Encephalitis and meningitis facts
      • What is encephalitis?
      • What causes encephalitis?
      • What are encephalitis symptoms and signs?
      • What is meningitis?
      • What causes meningitis?
      • What are meningitis symptoms and signs?
      • What is encephalomyelitis?
      • How are encephalitis and meningitis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of encephalitis and meningitis?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with encephalitis or meningitis?
      • Is meningitis contagious?
      • Can meningitis be prevented?
    • Meningococcemia Meningococcemia is a bloodstream infection caused by Neisseria meningitides. Meningococcemia symptoms include fever, headache,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Meningococcemia Article
      • Meningococcemia facts
      • What is meningococcemia?
      • What causes meningococcemia?
      • What are risk factors for meningococcemia?
      • What are symptoms and signs of meningococcemia?
      • How is meningococcemia diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for meningococcemia?
      • What is the prognosis of meningococcemia?
      • Is it possible to prevent meningococcemia?
      • Where can people find more information on meningococcemia?
      • What research is being done on meningococcemia?
    • Mental Health Mental health is an optimal way of thinking, relating to others, and feeling. All of the diagnosable mental disorders fall under...learn more »
      In This Article
      Mental Health Article
      • Mental health and mental illness facts
      • What is mental health?
      • What is mental illness?
      • What are common types of mental illness?
      • What are the causes and risk factors for mental illness?
      • What are symptoms and signs of mental illness?
      • How is mental illness diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a mental health problem?
      • Can mental health disorders be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for mental health problems?
      • Where can people get support for mental health disorders?
      • Where can people get more information about mental illnesses?
    • Migraine Headache Migraine headaches are severe headaches that are accompanies to sensitivity to light, sounds, and smells. They are often...learn more »
      In This Article
      Migraine Headache Article
      • What is a migraine?
      • What are the risk factors for migraine?
      • What causes migraines?
      • What triggers migraines?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of migraines?
      • How are migraines diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for migraines?
      • What self-care treatment measures work for migraines?
      • How are migraines managed during pregnancy?
      • How are migraines managed in children?
      • What is the prognosis for migraines?
      • Can migraines be prevented?
    • Mucormycosis Mucormycosis (zygomycosis) is a fungal infection caused by Zygomycetes. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, coughing,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Mucormycosis Article
      • Mucormycosis (zygomycosis) facts
      • What is mucormycosis?
      • What causes mucormycosis?
      • What are risk factors for mucormycosis?
      • What are symptoms and signs of mucormycosis?
      • How is mucormycosis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment of mucormycosis?
      • What are complications of mucormycosis?
      • What is the prognosis of mucormycosis?
      • Can mucormycosis be prevented?
      • What research is being done on mucormycosis?
      • Where can people find more information on mucormycosis?
    • Mumps Mumps is an acute viral illness caused by the mumps virus. Symptoms of mumps include fever, headache, muscle aches, tiredness,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Mumps Article
      • Mumps facts
      • What is mumps?
      • What is the history of mumps?
      • What causes mumps? How is mumps transmitted?
      • What are risk factors for contracting mumps?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of mumps in children and adults?
      • How is mumps diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for mumps in adults and in children?
      • What are complications of mumps?
      • Can mumps be prevented? Is there a vaccine for mumps?
      • What is the prognosis of a mumps infection?
      • Where can people find more information on mumps?
    • Neck Pain (Cervical Pain) Neck pain (cervical pain) may be caused by any number of disorders and diseases. Tenderness is another symptom of neck pain....learn more »
      In This Article
      Neck Pain (Cervical Pain) Article
      • What is neck pain? What are causes and risk factors for neck pain?
      • What are other symptoms that are associated with neck pain?
      • What are the structures of the neck?
      • How is neck pain diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for neck pain? What are home remedies for neck pain?
      • What is the prognosis for neck pain?
      • Is it possible to prevent neck pain?
    • Norovirus Infection Norovirus infection causes stomach flu, or gastroenteritis. It's a very contagious illness with symptoms that include nausea and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Norovirus Infection Article
      • Norovirus infection facts
      • What is a norovirus?
      • What causes a norovirus infection?
      • What are norovirus infection symptoms and signs in adults, children, and babies?
      • What is the incubation period for a norovirus infection? How long are people infected with norovirus contagious?
      • How is a norovirus infection diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for norovirus infections in adults, children, and babies?
      • What are possible complications of a norovirus infection?
      • What is the prognosis of a norovirus infection?
      • Can norovirus infections be prevented? Is there a vaccine?
      • Where can people get more information about norovirus infections?
    • Paget's Disease Paget's disease is a chronic bone disorder due to irregular breakdown and formation of bone tissue. Symptoms of Paget's disease...learn more »
      In This Article
      Paget's Disease Article
      • Paget's disease
      • What is Paget's disease?
      • What causes Paget's disease?
      • What are Paget's disease symptoms?
      • How is Paget's disease diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for Paget's disease?
      • What is the prognosis for Paget's disease?
      • Who discovered Paget's disease?
      • Where can I find more information about Paget's disease?
    • Plague (Black Death) Plague is an infectious disease caused by the bacteria Yersinia pestis. Transmission to humans occurs via fleas that have bitten...learn more »
      In This Article
      Plague (Black Death) Article
      • Plague (Black Death) facts
      • What is plague? What is the history of plague?
      • What causes plague?
      • What are risk factors for plague?
      • What are plague symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose plague?
      • What is the treatment for plague?
      • What is the prognosis of plague?
      • Is it possible to prevent plague?
      • What are modern concerns about plague?
    • Polymyalgia Rheumatica Polymyalgia rheumatica (PMR) is a disorder of the muscles and joints that causes pain and stiffness in the arms, neck, shoulders,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Polymyalgia Rheumatica Article
      • Polymyalgia rheumatica and giant cell arteritis facts
      • What is polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What causes polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What are symptoms and signs of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • How is polymyalgia rheumatica diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients with polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • Can polymyalgia be prevented?
      • What are complications of polymyalgia rheumatica?
      • What is giant cell arteritis?
      • What causes giant cell arteritis?
      • What are symptoms of giant cell arteritis?
      • How is giant cell arteritis diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for giant cell arteritis?
      • What is the prognosis for patients with giant cell arteritis?
      • Can giant cell arteritis be prevented?
      • What are complications of giant cell arteritis?
    • Pregnancy Symptoms (Am I Pregnant?) Pregnancy symptoms can vary from woman to woman, but some common symptoms include mood changes, headaches, lower back pain,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Pregnancy Symptoms (Am I Pregnant?) Article
      • 8 fast pregnancy symptoms facts
      • Pregnancy symptoms in general
      • 13 signs and symptoms of early pregnancy
      • 8 signs and symptoms of later pregnancy
      • 8 options for relief of pregnancy symptoms
    • Rabies Rabies is a potentially fatal viral infection. Rabies symptoms include fever, headache, myalgia, and can progress to more serious...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rabies Article
      • Rabies facts
      • What is rabies?
      • What are rabies symptoms and signs in humans?
      • What is the history of rabies, and what is the cause of rabies?
      • How is rabies transmitted?
      • How soon after an exposure should a person seek medical attention?
      • How is a rabies infection diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for rabies in humans?
      • Should people get a preexposure vaccination before traveling outside the U.S.?
      • Can rabies be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for people with rabies?
    • Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Rocky Mountain spotted fever is a tick-borne disease that causes symptoms and signs such as fever, rash, headache, and muscle...learn more »
      In This Article
      Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Article
      • Rocky Mountain spotted fever facts
      • What is Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever risk factors?
      • What are Rocky Mountain spotted fever symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What is the treatment for Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • What is the prognosis of Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent Rocky Mountain spotted fever?
    • Sarcoidosis Sarcoidosis, a disease resulting from chronic inflammation, causes small lumps (granulomas) to develop in a great range of body...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sarcoidosis Article
      • Sarcoidosis facts
      • What is sarcoidosis?
      • What are symptoms of sarcoidosis?
      • Who gets sarcoidosis?
      • What we know about sarcoidosis
      • Some things we don't know about sarcoidosis
      • How is sarcoidosis diagnosed?
      • What are some signs and symptoms that suggest possible sarcoidosis?
      • What do laboratory tests show?
      • How is sarcoidosis treated?
      • Living with sarcoidosis
      • Where can a person find more information on sarcoidosis?
    • Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina) Scarlet fever, a bacterial infection caused by group A Streptococcus bacteria, causes symptoms and signs such as fever, rash with...learn more »
      In This Article
      Scarlet Fever (Scarlatina) Article
      • Scarlet fever facts
      • What is scarlet fever?
      • What causes scarlet fever?
      • What is the incubation period for scarlet fever?
      • What are risk factors for scarlet fever?
      • What is the contagious period for scarlet fever?
      • What are scarlet fever symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose scarlet fever?
      • What is the treatment for scarlet fever?
      • What are complications of scarlet fever?
      • What is the prognosis of scarlet fever? What are the long-term effects of scarlet fever?
      • Is it possible to prevent scarlet fever? Is there a scarlet fever vaccine?
    • Sick Building Syndrome Multiple chemical sensitivity (MCS) or also referred to as sick building syndrome or environmental illness is the name given by...learn more »
      In This Article
      Sick Building Syndrome Article
      • Sick building syndrome facts
      • What is sick building syndrome?
      • Why is sick building syndrome controversial?
      • What causes sick building syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for sick building syndrome?
      • What are sick building syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • How is sick building syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for sick building syndrome?
      • What are complications of sick building syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of sick building syndrome?
      • Is there a way to prevent sick building syndrome?
    • Sinus Infection (Sinusitis) Sinus infection (sinusitis) signs and symptoms include headache, fever, and facial tenderness, pressure, or pain. Treatments of...learn more »
    • STDs in Men Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) are infections transmitted during sexual contact. They may be caused by viruses, bacteria,...learn more »
      In This Article
      STDs in Men Article
      • What are sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
      • Who is at risk for STDs?
      • What causes STDs?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of STDs?
      • List of STDs in men
      • Chlamydia
      • Gonorrhea
      • Trichomoniasis
      • HIV
      • Genital herpes
      • Genital warts (HPV)
      • Hepatitis
      • Syphilis
      • How are STDs diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for STDs?
      • What is the prognosis for STDs?
      • Can STDs be prevented?
    • Streptococcal Infections Group A streptococcal infections are caused by group A streptococcus, a bacteria that causes a variety of health problems,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Streptococcal Infections Article
      • Group A streptococcal infections facts
      • What is group A Streptococcus (GAS)?
      • How are group A streptococcal (GAS) infections contracted?
      • What diseases are caused by group A streptococcal infection?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of GAS infections?
      • What is invasive group A streptococcal disease? Who is most at risk for getting invasive GAS disease?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of necrotizing fasciitis?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of toxic shock syndrome (TSS)?
      • How are group A streptococcal (GAS) infections diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for invasive group A streptococcal disease?
      • What complications are seen with group A streptococcal infections?
      • Can group A streptococcal infections be prevented?
      • What is the prognosis for group A streptococcal infections?
      • Where can people find more information about group A streptococcal infections?
    • Stress Stress occurs when forces from the outside world impinge on the individual. Stress is a normal part of life. However,...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stress Article
      • Stress facts
      • What is stress?
      • A brief history of stress
      • What are the signs and symptoms of poorly managed stress?
      • Who is most vulnerable to stress?
      • Teen stress
      • What is the healthy response to stress?
      • How does the response to stress work?
      • What is the role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis (grouping) in stress?
      • What is the role of the locus coeruleus in stress?
      • How do the connections in the brain work in stress?
      • What do we know about using (activating) and overusing our internal systems that respond to stress?
      • What are the effects of stress on medical and psychological conditions?
      • Conclusions about the effects of stress
      • What can people do for stress management?
      • What's in the future for stress?
    • Stroke A stroke is an interruption of the blood supply to part of the brain caused by either a blood clot (ischemic) or bleeding...learn more »
      In This Article
      Stroke Article
      • Stroke facts
      • What is a stroke?
      • What are the different types of stroke?
      • What are the warning signs of a stroke?
      • What are the symptoms of a stroke?
      • How is a stroke diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for stroke?
      • What is the prognosis for stroke?
      • Is recovery after a stroke possible?
      • What is stroke rehabilitation?
      • Can strokes be prevented?
    • Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome is a disorder that causes symptoms like pain, clicking, and popping of the jaw. TMJ is...learn more »
      In This Article
      Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) Article
      • What is temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome?
      • What are the risk factors for TMJ syndrome?
      • What causes TMJ syndrome?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of TMJ syndrome?
      • How is TMJ syndrome diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for TMJ syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis for TMJ syndrome?
      • Can TMJ syndrome be prevented?
    • Tetanus Tetanus is an often-fatal disease caused by nerve toxins produced by the common bacteria Clostridium tetani. In a seven-day...learn more »
      In This Article
      Tetanus Article
      • Tetanus facts
      • What is tetanus?
      • Where do tetanus bacteria grow in the body?
      • How does the tetanus toxin cause damage to the body?
      • What is the incubation period for tetanus?
      • What is the course of the tetanus disease? What are the symptoms and signs of tetanus?
      • What is the treatment for tetanus?
      • How is tetanus prevented?
      • What is the schedule for active immunization (tetanus shots)?
      • What are the side effects of tetanus immunization?
      • What is passive immunization (by way of specialized immunoglobulin)?
    • Toothache A toothache is a pain on or around a tooth. It may be caused by a variety of things from a cavity, abscess, or even sinusitis....learn more »
      In This Article
      Toothache Article
      • What is a toothache?
      • What causes a toothache?
      • What are the signs and symptoms of a toothache?
      • How is a toothache diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for a toothache?
      • Are home remedies effective for a toothache?
      • How is a toothache treated during pregnancy?
      • What is the prognosis for a toothache?
      • Can a toothache be prevented?
    • Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Toxic shock syndrome is an infection that causes symptoms such as low blood pressure, fever, and a rash with peeling skin....learn more »
      In This Article
      Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS) Article
      • Toxic shock syndrome (TSS) facts
      • What is toxic shock syndrome?
      • What causes toxic shock syndrome?
      • What are risk factors for toxic shock syndrome?
      • What are toxic shock syndrome symptoms and signs?
      • How do physicians diagnose toxic shock syndrome?
      • What is the treatment for toxic shock syndrome?
      • What is the prognosis of toxic shock syndrome?
      • Is it possible to prevent toxic shock syndrome?
    • Typhus Typhus is a disease caused by Rickettsia bacteria. Symptoms and signs include fever, headache, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and...learn more »
      In This Article
      Typhus Article
      • Typhus facts
      • What is typhus? Are there different types of typhus?
      • What is the history of typhus?
      • What causes typhus? How is typhus transmitted?
      • What are typhus risk factors?
      • What are typhus symptoms and signs?
      • How is typhus diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for typhus?
      • What is the prognosis of typhus?
      • Can typhus be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information about typhus?
    • Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infection is the most common type of infection acquired by patients while hospitalized....learn more »
      In This Article
      Vancomycin-Resistant Enterococci (VRE) Article
      • Vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) facts
      • What are vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)?
      • What causes a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What are risk factors for vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
      • How are vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) transmitted?
      • What are the symptoms and signs of a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • How do physicians diagnose vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infections?
      • What is the treatment for a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What is the prognosis of a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal (VRE) infection?
      • What are the complications of VRE infections?
      • Is it possible to prevent vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
      • What precautions should people take when tending to someone with a vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infection?
      • What research is being done on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE)?
      • Where can people find more information on vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE) infections?
    • Vasculitis Vasculitis is a general term for a group of uncommon diseases which feature inflammation of the blood vessels. Each form of...learn more »
      In This Article
      Vasculitis Article
      • Vasculitis facts
      • What is vasculitis?
      • What causes vasculitis, and what are examples of diseases with vasculitis?
      • What are the symptoms of vasculitis?
      • How is vasculitis diagnosed?
      • How is vasculitis treated?
    • West Nile Virus West Nile virus (West Nile encephalitis) is a brain infection caused by a virus. People become infected with the virus after...learn more »
      In This Article
      West Nile Virus Article
      • West Nile virus facts
      • What is the history of West Nile virus?
      • Where did the West Nile virus come from?
      • How do people get West Nile virus?
      • How do mosquitoes get infected with the West Nile virus?
      • Can one person contract the virus from another?
      • Besides mosquitoes, can other insects transmit the West Nile virus?
      • Are there other viruses like the West Nile virus?
      • What are West Nile virus symptoms and signs?
      • When is there an increased risk for infection?
      • Who is at risk for getting West Nile virus?
      • What is the treatment for West Nile virus? Can West Nile virus be prevented with a vaccine?
      • Is a woman's pregnancy at risk if she gets West Nile virus?
      • What can a community do to reduce the risk of an outbreak of the West Nile virus?
      • What can a person do to reduce the risk of becoming infected with the West Nile virus?
    • Yellow Fever Yellow fever is an infectious disease transmitted by infected mosquitoes. Side effects are rare with the yellow fever vaccine....learn more »
      In This Article
      Yellow Fever Article
      • Yellow fever facts
      • What is yellow fever? What is the history of yellow fever?
      • What causes yellow fever?
      • How is yellow fever transmitted?
      • What areas are high-risk for contracting yellow fever?
      • What is the incubation period for yellow fever?
      • What are yellow fever symptoms and signs?
      • How is yellow fever diagnosed?
      • What is the treatment for yellow fever?
      • What is the prognosis for people with yellow fever?
      • Can yellow fever be prevented?
      • Where can people get more information on yellow fever?
Other Causes of Headache
  • Bacterial Infection (Inside or Outside of the Head)
  • Cluster Headache
  • Cold Drink or Food ("Brain Freeze")
  • Compression of Head (Hat, Helmet, etc.)
  • Hyperventilation
  • Illicit Drug Withdrawal
  • Intracranial Hemorrhage
  • Medications (both Prescription and Non-prescription)
  • Sexual Activity
  • Tension Headache
  • Trauma Injury to Head or Neck
  • Viral Infection (Inside or Outside of the Head)
Examples of Medications for Headache




Living Better

Find the secrets to longer life.