All Headaches Are Not Created Equal

All Headaches Are Not Created Equal

Through the Fog

More than 40 percent of those of us with fibromyalgia suffer with various types of headaches. They can be very debilitating and render us pretty much useless for the duration. Some headaches we can push through and some we definitely can’t.

I remember the first time I experienced a cluster headache soon after my fibromyalgia diagnosis. I didn’t know it had a name. I just called it an eye headache. It starts behind one of your eyes and affects that side of your head. It’s incredibly uncomfortable and sometimes I get a bit of relief by covering up that eye with my hand. Of course, I also use a pain medication.

I’ve never had a migraine, but I know lots of people who do. Along with the intense pain, you experience nausea and/or vomiting. Lights or sounds may contribute to the extreme pain. Some people have strange visual disturbances, including blind spots, blurred vision, flashing lights, and zig-zaging lines, also known as aura.

Migraines are believed to be caused by abnormal activation of the central nervous system that leads to the narrowing and inflammation of the blood vessels in your head. They can last from a few hours to a few days.

Understanding headaches

Headaches caused from TMJ occur in front of the ear and temple region. They are associated with jaw and facial pain. They can be aggravated by prolonged chewing, yawning, and for me, keeping my mouth forced open for an hour or more while I’m having dental work done. If you tend to clench your jaw, the pressure put on your jaw is not good. You may want to consider getting a soft mouth guard.

Tension headaches can occur as the result of a variety of reasons. Stress can cause tightness and muscle spasms in the neck, shoulders, and upper back, which often results in a headache. Being exposed to strong chemicals and fragrances, such as cleansers and perfumes, also can trigger a headache.

With SINUS headaches you often feel pressure around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead. At times it can be the result of a sinus infection, which requires antibiotics and a doctor’s care. The pain is caused by pressure and congestion in the sinus cavity.

Upward of 40% of people with fibromyalgia get headaches. Flares can bring on headaches. Some research has shown that headaches, in general, may be more common in those who have fibromyalgia and who also struggle with depression, anxiety, sleep disturbance and tenderness around the outside of their head.

Headaches are no fun, no matter what kind they are. Am I right?

I get all the types listed above, with the exception of migraines. How about you? Click on the link to take the headache test.

Note: Fibromyalgia News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Fibromyalgia News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to fibromyalgia.


  1. Jo-Anne Wiszniewski says:

    I have always suffered from migraines, headaches, sinusitis and can tell my doctor all the different types and how different they are from the other. These days they seem to merge as they all are in different areas to the head. Plus I also suffer from aneroism headaches like my heads on fire it’s going to explode having to drink freezing cold water strip my clothes off my temperature’s so high hot splashing covering myself in cold water nearly passing out (I have several times) goes for 3-4 hrs. Quite frightening, doctors cannot explain why this continually happens, admittedly, this year hasn’t hapoened as much as other years, touch wood. Brain fog is worsening the last 3yrs which is quite bad forgetting doctors appointments which is quite unlike me plus keep starting something forget what I was doing then start something else even forgetting I’m cooking something unless I set timer, turn off tv, turn off gas oven stove. I’ve a headache every single day plus read about an eye condition cased through fibromyalgia doctors made appointment for me to see an eye specialist and an MRI to see if there’s anything else causing my migraines, better to be safe than to be sorry! As, I have them for a week also causing severe nausea vomiting housebound can’t even go shopping pay bills etc, then just headaches for a while to relapsing back to migraines. Unfortunately, headaches and migraines are hereditary in my family.

  2. Rachel says:

    Thanks for sharing this article. I learned a lot. I have been suffering with headache lately. I don’t know what is the main cause of it. i was advised to do some exercise and drink plenty of wate. I am planning to see my doctor soon.

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