• Siddhant Sugandhi

Know Your Headache!

Headaches are one of the most common ailments that each one of us has experienced on several occasions. It is characterized by pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck and is rarely ever serious.

Headaches are usually non-infectious, transient, and rarely ever fatal. Recurrent headaches might be caused by personal and societal burdens of pain, financial, and other stress.

Although, the cause of a headache might be difficult to identify, one must acquaint themselves with the knowledge of its known causes if faced with regular headaches.

1. Tension-type Headache

It is the most common type of headache and is likely to be caused by Musculoskeletal problems like tight muscles in your shoulder, neck, scalp and, jaw. It might further be related to stress, depression and anxiety.

They are usually bilateral and tend to start at the back of your head and spread forward. Such headaches can be chronic or episodic, usually lasting for a few days or a few hours. Patients with this type of disorder feel like a tight band around the head with soreness in the shoulders and/or jaw.

2. Cluster Headache

It is characterized by severe, frequent, and brief episodes of pain that might sometimes last for months. It is, more often than not, focused around the eyes, often accompanied by a runny nose and maybe the after effects of a cold or respiratory infection.

3. Migraine

This can be a chronic condition that is rapidly becoming common in the modern era.

The pain may be throbbing, pounding, or pulsating and tends to begin on one side of the head soon spreading to both sides.

These headaches usually come with warning signs before they start. Nausea, vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite are symptoms accompanied by migraine headaches that might last from a couple of hours to days.

These headaches are most likely to be caused due to hormonal factors and due to problems in the vestibular apparatus.

4. Medication overuse headache

This is a secondary headache disorder caused due to the overuse of medications (usually pain medications).

These headaches introduce as rebound headaches that keep coming back. They are usually dull in intensity but can be a cause of worry as it is an indicator of overdosage.

5. Sinus Headache

They occur due to swelling in the sinus passages behind the cheeks, nose and eyes. The pain tends to get worse on bending and waking up in the morning. They express as sharp stinging brief pain in front of the head and face and are usually common with sinus infections.

6. Other Headaches

Headaches can follow infections like cold, flu and fever and can even be a part of premenstrual syndrome.

They can further be caused due to a swollen, inflamed artery that supplies blood to the head, neck and temple areas, a disorder known as Temporal Arteritis.

7. Serious Causes

Although most headaches are due to resolvable, simple disorders, there are instances where they point to a much more serious condition. These might include:

· Brain Hemorrhage

· High Blood Pressure

· Infections in the brain/meninges

· Brain Tumor

· Accumulation of fluid in the brain (Hydrocephalus)

· Carbon Monoxide Poisoning

· Sleep Apnea

· Brain Aneurysm

· Stroke

Headaches rarely prove to be life-threatening and can easily be resolved with the help of simple OTC medicines. Although, it is equally vital to consult a physician if you’re having recurring headaches that may be tampering with your day-to-day activities. They might be pointing to some severe conditions that might require urgent intervention.

Conditions like migraine require you to take your medicines regularly, depending on the seriousness of the disease. These medicines can add up and become a major expense, and hence the knowledge or alternate available medicine options can prove to be a lifesaver.

Headache can be sure be troublesome and lead to a lot of stress but with the right treatment, it is never to difficult to deal with!

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