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Headaches may be caused by a number of conditions, such as disorders of the:
Some factors that may contribute to the onset of primary headaches include:
- Changing hormone levels
Other factors, also known as triggers, tend to be environmental or linked to diet:
- Pulsating or bright light
- Certain foods (caffeine, red wine, chocolate, aged cheeses)
- Sleep (too much or too little)
Types of Headaches
The most common types of headaches, like migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches are classified as primary headaches, because the headache itself is the main medical problem. These types of headaches can be very painful, but they are not dangerous.
Headaches caused by underlying medical conditions that trigger pain sensitive areas in the neck and head are classified as secondary headaches. These headaches can be the sign of a serious medical condition. Learn more about types of headaches.