September 5, 2015

home > quizzes a-z listing > headaches quiz > headaches faqs

Answers FAQ

Headaches FAQs

Reviewed by Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

Take the Headaches Quiz First! Before reading this FAQ, challenge yourself and
Test your Knowledge!

Q:Who suffers more frequently from migraine headaches: Men or women?

A:Migraines are more common in women.

Women make up about 75% of those who suffer from migraines. They are most common in women between 20 and 45 years of age, a time of life when women typically have many job and family responsibilities. Women tend to have longer and more painful migraines, making it difficult for many to fulfill their work and family responsibilities when a migraine occurs.

back to top ↑

Q:What is the most common type of headache?

A:The most common type of headache is tension headache, or tension-type headache (TTH).

Symptoms include a feeling of pressure or tightness around the head. Women are more commonly affected than men, and this kind of headache often begins during the teen years. TTH may be caused by musculoskeletal problems or stress. Attacks of TTH typically persist for a few hours, but in some cases can last for days. A chronic form of TTH can be disabling.

back to top ↑

Q:Which type of headache involves the trigeminal nerve?

A:Cluster headaches.

Cluster headaches are usually severe, with pain localized behind the eye. Alcohol may be a trigger for these headaches, and medications taken after the headache begins typically are not effective. Medications can be effective when taken as a preventive measure.

back to top ↑

Q:Fever is a symptom of migraine headaches. True or false?

A:False.

Fever is not a symptom of migraine. Migraine can cause other symptoms other than head pain. Sensitivity to light, nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to sound, seeing flashing lights, or temporary vision loss are all possible symptoms of migraine. Any part of the head can be involved, although many people feel pain in the temples or behind an eye or ear on one side of the face. Perceptual disturbances known as auras occur in some people with migraines.

back to top ↑

Q:What causes sinus headaches?

A:Sinusitis, or the inflammation of the sinuses, is what causes sinus headaches.

Inflammation within the sinuses can lead to blockage of the normal drainage pathways of the sinuses. Sinustitis and congestion of the sinuses can cause sinus headache. When drainage is blocked, the sinuses become an ideal environment for the growth of bacteria, viruses, and fungi, so infections are common.

back to top ↑

Q:Migraine, tension, and cluster headaches are considered to belong to which category of headaches?

A:The primary headache disorders include migraine, tension-type headache, and cluster headache.

Headache is the main symptoms of these conditions. Secondary headaches occur in response to another underlying condition. Many medical problems can cause secondary headaches, including overuse of certain medications.

back to top ↑

Q:Cluster headaches are more common in smokers. True or false?

A:True.

Cluster headaches are more common in smokers than in nonsmokers. They usually start between the ages of 20 and 50 and occur more commonly in men. Commonly, those who suffer from this type of headache will have 1-3 cluster headaches a day with two cluster periods per year. The intervening months are usually symptom-free. Less commonly, a chronic form of the condition develops in which people only have brief periods of remission from symptoms. Alcohol and smoking can provoke attacks of cluster headaches.

back to top ↑

Q:What is the trigeminal nerve?

A:The trigeminal nerve is one of the 12 pairs of cranial nerves that begin at the base of the brain.

It is the main nerve of the face, having 3 branches that carry sensations from the scalp, the area around the skull, as well as the face, eyes, mouth, neck, eyes, and ears.

Headache triggers – like stress, certain foods, smells, or medications – cause the nerve endings to relay messages to the thalamus, the part of the brain that transports pain signals from all over the body. The thalamus then sends signals that control awareness of pain and emotional response to pain.

back to top ↑

Q:A migraine sufferer may also possibly suffer from cluster headaches. True or false?

A:True.

Cluster headaches are one of the least common types of headache, and their cause is poorly understood. They are more common in men, and the pain is believed to result from changes in blood vessels within the head. People with cluster headaches sometimes also suffer from migraine headaches, although this is not common.

back to top ↑

Q:The "worst headache of your life" may be a symptom of what life-threatening infection?

A:The "worst headache of your life" may arise due to a medical emergency, like hemorrhage within the brain or meningitis, inflammation of the coverings of the brain and spinal cord.

Inflammation of the brain (encephalitis) can also develop from infection. Inflammation can damage brain tissue and requires urgent medical care.

NOTE: Should you ever feel that you are suffering the worst headache of your life, seek immediate medical attention.

back to top ↑

Q:With regard to headaches, the term "bilateral" best describes which type of pain?

A:Bilateral refers to being present on two sides.

The term unilateral refers to one side only. Bilateral headaches affect both sides of the head.

back to top ↑
© 1996-2015 MedicineNet, Inc. All rights reserved.
Source quiz on MedicineNet

Living Better

Find the secrets to longer life.