Headache Symptoms

The most common symptom of headaches is head pain. This pain can vary significantly depending on the cause of the headache. Other common headache symptoms can include sensitivity to light or sounds, nausea, and a temporary loss of consciousness. In many cases, headaches are not serious. However, be sure to notify your healthcare provider if you have things such as headaches lasting for several hours; vomiting or vision problems along with your headaches; or headaches that disrupt your home, work, or school life.

An Introduction to Headache Signs and Symptoms

A headache is one of the most common symptoms experienced in today's society. In fact, up to 40 percent of people worldwide are thought to have at least one severe headache per year. Headaches are such a common complaint that they can almost be considered a normal part of living. Fortunately, most headaches are not a sign of anything serious.
A headache is a not an illness; it is a symptom, similar to the way that a fever is a symptom. Depending on the cause of the headache (see Causes of Headaches or Types of Headaches), other symptoms may or may not accompany it.

The Most Common Headache Symptom -- Head Pain

Obviously, the most common complaint with headaches is head pain. Characteristics of head pain can vary significantly based on the cause of the head pain. Some words used to describe head pain include pulsatile, throbbing, pressing, dull, and sharp. The pain may be mild, moderate, or severe in nature. It may also occur on one or both sides of the head.
Headaches also differ in:
  • How long they take to peak from when they first occur
  • How often they occur and how long they last
  • When they occur (season, month, menstrual cycle, week, hour of day).
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