Light and sound-induced discomfort and pain thresholds were measured in 26 patients with cervicogenic headache, in 40 patients with tension-type headache, and in 100 headache-free controls. Neither headache group was significantly different as to photophobia and phonophobia, but both were significantly more sensitive to light and sound than controls (p<0.0001), even when patients were tested in the headache-free period (p<0.05). Episodic and chronic tension-type headache had similar photo- and phonophobia thresholds (p> or =0.7). Tension-type headache patients were more photo- and phonophobic during headache than outside attack (p<0.05), but this was not true for cervicogenic headache (p> or =0.56). In cervicogenic headache patients, photophobia (p<0.05) but not phonophobia (p=0.28) was greater on the symptomatic side than on the non-symptomatic side.