A frontal region headache can range from an annoyance to completely debilitating. Headaches are the result of a variety of causes, from tension to swelling, to neurological abnormality. The frontal lobe of your brain is particularly vulnerable to sinus pressure and tension. Understanding the location and pattern of your headaches helps your doctor determine what additional tests or medications are most appropriate for you.
Sinus headaches create a dull pain in the front region of your head and another area such as the face, ears or teeth. The origin of a sinus headache occurs when bacteria trapped in the sinus region eventually becomes infected causing swelling, pain and sensitivity. Many people experience sinus headaches when the seasons change or during exposure to allergens such as pollen and animal dander. Most sinus headaches last three weeks, but those with chronic sinusitis can endure up to three months of pain. Because a sinus headache is caused by infection, your doctor can prescribe antibiotics if necessary.
Cluster headaches originate directly behind your eye and often radiate pain through the forehead. Relatively rare, this form of headache occurs due to a swollen blood vessel and causes excruciating pain. Patients have described a cluster headache as a burning, piercing sensation, often rendering them unable to sit still due to the pain. The episodes typically cause pain for up to 45 minutes at a time, several times a day. Frequency typically increases during the change of seasons. Treatment options for chronic sufferers of cluster headaches are available in a variety of forms and should be discussed with your doctor.
Migraine headaches affect a variety of locations on the head but are often felt in the frontal region of the skull, particularly in children. Episodes can last from a few minutes to hours and often include other symptoms such as vomiting, nausea and extreme sensitivity to light. Stress, lack of sleep or external stimuli all contribute to the frequency of migraines. Many doctors recommend relaxation techniques in addition to medication.
Tension headaches are the most common and occur when the muscles surrounding your neck, back and head become chronically tense due to stress and strain. The tense muscle contractions cause pain throughout the front and sides of the head and can last anywhere from 30 minutes to several days. Many patients describe the pain as dull, as opposed to throbbing or pulsating. Sitting in positions of constant eye or neck strain, such as a computer, increases your chances of a tension headache, as does smoking and drinking alcohol. Tension headaches are considered chronic and can be treated by over-the-counter medications or by your doctor depending on the severity and frequency.