How to know when it's a migraine, tension, cluster, sinus, or rebound headache?

I've always thought I've had migraines and have been treated for such using daily beta-blockers. My symptoms have been extreme sensitivity to light, noise, smell, seeing auras, and feeling a sense of throbbing/pounding in my head. On an "as needed" basis, I used Excedrin Migraine, but I'm worried that triggers rebound-headaches.

What are the symptoms of cluster, tension, sinus, & rebound headaches? How do you adequately distinguish between them? Do beta-blockers work for all of them?

1 Answer 1


Coincidentally, I came across this chart in a magazine like 20 minutes after reading your question!! It explains the many differences (and some similarities) between migraine, tension, and cluster headaches. (I apologize for the bluriness of the picture. Additionally, I apolgozie it doesn't also compare sinus headaches, but those are often distinguished by sinus congestion and feeling pressure in the front of your face -- please see http://www.webmd.com/migraines-headaches/guide/sinus-headaches).

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P.s. I'm also unsure about the effectiveness of beta-blockers. I tried researching, but only found it referenced as a treatment for migraines (and assummingly rebound headaches). Good luck!

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