Typical Headaches and How to Combat Them
Everybody has had a headache at some point in their life. Common headaches are distinguished by discomfort, sensitivity, or achiness in the head. There are numerous different varieties of headaches, each with a unique set of symptoms, degrees of severity, and available treatments. But does your headache indicate a minor medical condition or a more significant one?
Stress is a common cause of tension headaches, which are rather prevalent. Although the pain can differ from person to person, it is typically experienced as a dull aching sensation over the entire body. You can also have sensitivity or pain in your neck, forehead, or shoulder muscles. OTC painkillers can be used to treat the majority of tension headaches in order to reduce symptoms.
According to the American Migraine Foundation, sinus headaches happen when the sinus cavity is inflamed due to allergens, disease, or dry weather (AMF). They are accompanied by a sharp, lingering pain in the forehead, the bridge of the nose, or the cheekbones. The pain frequently gets worse when the head is suddenly moved, and it also happens to have additional sinus symptoms like nasal discharge, fever, and facial puffiness.
Thinning out the mucus buildup that results in sinus pressure is used to alleviate sinus headaches. Symptom relief may be provided by over-the-counter decongestants, nasal steroid sprays, and antihistamines. A sinus infection may cause a sinus headache, which could be treated with prescription antibiotics to stop the infection and lessen your headache and other symptoms.
Exhaustion headaches can occur right away after periods of vigorous physical exercise. Exertion headaches frequently occur after exercising, lifting weights, and engaging in sexual activity. These brief, excruciating headaches can affect both sides of your head and are easily managed with melatonin and over-the-counter medications.
Migraine headaches can cause severe, incapacitating pain that interferes with daily life for 13% of Americans. Associated with blood vessel contractions and other changes in the brain, migraines are frequently brought on by changes in the surroundings or the weather, stress, or lack of sleep. They can persist for a few days or as little as 30 minutes.
In contrast to regular headaches, migraines can result in throbbing pain on one or both sides of the head, as well as nausea or vomiting, exhaustion, and sensitivity to light, sound, or smell. Visual disturbances like halos, flashing lights, zigzag lines, or blind spots may occur before a migraine attack.
Usually, over-the-counter painkillers can alleviate migraine pain. Your doctor may recommend drugs that reduce inflammation and alter biochemical pathways for people who experience chronic migraines.
Hormonal changes are a common cause of headaches for many women. Estrogen levels are impacted by menstruation, pregnancy, menopause, and hormonal contraception, which results in headaches. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 60 percent of women who suffer from migraines also experience menstrual migraines, which are headaches brought on by any phase of the menstrual cycle.
The American Migraine Foundation (AMF) describes cluster headache as a rare type of headache disorder that is characterised by intense burning or piercing pain around one eye or side of the face, frequently accompanied by facial swelling, flushing, sweating, nasal congestion, drooping eyelids, and eye tearing on the same side as the headache.
Men are three times more likely than women to encounter these headaches, which can last between 15 and 180 minutes and occur up to eight times every day for four to six weeks.
Acute and preventive medication treatments for cluster headaches include oxygen therapy, steroid injections, oral steroids (often prednisone), and melatonin.
When your blood pressure exceeds 180/110, it is considered to be critically high and causes a hypertension headache.
These headaches frequently cause vision problems, chest pain, shortness of breath, or nosebleeds, and they frequently feel throbbing on both sides of the head. Seek quick medical assistance if you think you have a headache caused by hypertension. Lowering your blood pressure can be used to treat a headache brought on by hypertension.
Worry comes easily when your head is throbbing.
You shouldn’t worry; many headache types are episodic and will disappear in a day.
But if your headache persists for more than two days, gets worse, or happens frequently, see a doctor right once.
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A review article by
Dr Bhavna Kalvala (Clinical Research Director @ IEEARC Tech)