Maybe each of us has experienced headache, and most of us have suffered from this problem many times.
Some people have mild headaches that go away by themselves, while others suffer from severe pain in the head, which makes difficult to perform daily tasks.
Headache has nothing common with brain tissue. It occurs, when blood vessels become constricted and nerves are irritated that sends pain-signals to the brain. While uncomfortable feelings in the head often appear without any reason, occasionally headache may be a symptom of medication overuse, sinusitis, excessive caffeine consumption or head injury.
Be aware that if you feel extremely severe headache, which appeared suddenly and is accompanied by fever, numbness, weakness, confusion, inability to speak and/or understand the words, it's time to seek for medical help immediately. These may be the symptoms of stroke.
Headache, which gets worse with time and comes together with fever and stiff neck, may signal about meningitis - inflammation of the membranes that normally protect the brain and spinal cord.
According to recommendations, there are more than 150 kinds of headaches. We want to tell you about the most common of them.
#1. Tension headache – this is the most frequent type of headaches, experienced by people from time to time. Stress, dehydration, poor sleep and skipping meals may result in dull pressure and tightness on both sides of the head, which are usually mild or moderate. It doesn't worsen during physical activity but may spread to the shoulders and neck. Over-the-counter painkillers, like acetaminophen, aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen can relieve unpleasant symptoms. But remember that it's very important to follow the instruction to the medicines and not to overuse with them.
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#2. Migraine – while we often call all severe headaches “migraine”, this kind of headache has its specific criteria. It is characterized by unilateral pulsating pain with nausea and increased sensitivity to light and noise. There is wide variety of factors, which may trigger migraine, including alcohol consumption, emotional stress, lack of sleep, eating chocolate. It's completely possible that migraine awaken you from sleep. If left untreated, it may last up to three days. Actually women are three times more likely to have migraine headache. OTC drugs are able to reduce migraine pain only on the earliest stages. Anti-nausea medicines, such as metoclopramide may better effectiveness of pain relievers. For those, who didn't stop migraine early, only prescription medications (sumatriptan, zolmitriptan, rizatriptan) may provide complete alleviation. But be aware that they shouldn't be used by individuals with heart disease, as triptans can significantly impair coronary blood flow.
#3. Cluster headache – stabbing intensive pain in one side of the head, accompanied by runny nose and watery eye on the affected side, becomes apparent five times more often in men than in women. It comes in clusters - attacks start suddenly and last for 30 to 60 minutes. One person may experience one to eight cluster a day during one to three months. Like in the case of migraine, headache may come together with nausea and sensitivity to sounds and light. Triptans are the most efficient medicines in treating cluster headache. Inhaling oxygen may be also a helpful option. In order to prevent attacks, doctors often advise taking calcium-channel blockers (verapamil).
#4. Menstrual headache – hormonal fluctuations, occurred in women during periods, may sometimes look similar to migraine headache. To relieve symptoms, you can take OTC painkillers or ask your doctor about hormonal therapy.
#5. Rebound headache – it seems weird, but medicines, used to treat headache, may become trigger its occurrence. If you take triptans, NSAIDs and acetaminophen more than 15 days in one month, you're a candidate for medication headache, which can mimic tension or migraine headache. The only way to get rid of rebound headache is to discontinue taking trigger-medicine. But it's necessary to do this with supervision of medical professional.
#6. Exertional headache – not only vigorous exercises, but also sex can trigger dull pain in the head. However it usually goes away within several minutes to several hours. Sometimes taking NSAID an hour before activity may help prevent developing headache.
The BetterMe Team wants you and those close to you to live a healthy, happy life! Your health is a valuable thing; look after your body and your mind so that you can live your life to the fullest – Remember you only get one!
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