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What do one-sided headaches mean?

By Anonymous June 8, 2016 - 2:55pm
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When I experience headaches, they are usually one sided and on my right side. When I have a headache I become nauseated and my eyes begin to tear. I can’t do anything but lay down because the pain becomes so bad. I was just wondering if this is normal and if there was a reason why the pain is only on one side of my head.

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Hello, I'm 19 years old and over the past few days have been experiencing continuous headaches. I used to get them before, but not so frequently. And also, I had my periods early this time, maybe that could be one of the reasons? I have been taking stress too.

August 29, 2016 - 8:07am

Hi Anon,

Thank you for sharing your question with the EmpowHER community.

It's important to identify the type of headache you are having, especially since it is reoccurring. There are 5 different types of headaches; tention, cluster, sinus, rebound or migraine.

Based on your description of your symptoms and location of one side of your head, it seems you might be experiencing a cluster headache or a migraine.

  • Cluster - recurring headaches that occur in groups or cycles. Coming on  suddenly and are characterized by severe, debilitating pain on one side of the head often accompanied by a watery eye and nasal congestion or a runny nose on the same side of the face.

      • Do you have any nasal congestion or runny nose?

  • Migraine - resulting from a neurological disorder that can run in families and are defined by certain criteria.

      • At least five previous episodes of headaches

      • Lasting between four hours and 72 hours

      • Having at least two out of four of these features: one-sided pain, throbbing pain, moderate-to-severe pain, and pain that interferes with, is worsened by, or prohibits routine activity

      • Having at least one associated feature: nausea and/or vomiting, or, if those are not present, then sensitivity to light and sound.

I would make note of how often and other details about these headaches.  Also, make an appointment to see your doctor to determine possible causes and proper treatment.

Be well,


June 8, 2016 - 10:19pm
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