Most people get headaches now and then, some people more than others. Then there are those who get migraines, which are much more than “just” headaches. Migraineurs — those who get frequent migraine headaches — know their migraine symptoms all too well.
Headaches can be more complicated than most people realize. Different kinds can have their own set of symptoms, happen for unique reasons, and need different kinds of treatment.
Different Kinds of Headaches
Some Primary Headaches can be triggered by lifestyle factors, including:
- Alcohol, particularly red wine
- Certain foods, such as processed meats that contain nitrates
- Changes in sleep or lack of sleep
- Poor posture
- Skipped meals
A Secondary Headaches is a symptom of a disease that can activate the pain-sensitive nerves of the head. Sources of secondary headaches include:
- Acute sinusitis
- Arterial tears
- Blood clot within the brain; separate from Stroke
- Brain aneurysm (a bulge in an artery in your brain)
- Dental problems
- Ear infection (middle ear)
- Influenza (flu)
- Medications to treat other disorders
- Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
- Overuse of pain medication
- Panic attacks and panic disorder
- Pressure from tight-fitting headgear, such as a helmet or goggles
Headache Cures: How to Treat Tension Headaches
1. Applying a heating pad or ice pack to your head for five to 10 minutes several times a day
2. Taking a hot bath or shower to relax tense muscles
3. Improving your posture
4. Taking frequent computer breaks to prevent eye strain
5. Help From Your Doctor. Tests used to check for other conditions may include:
- CT Scan (an imaging test that uses X-rays to take pictures of your internal organs)
- MRI (an imaging test that uses magnetic fields to examine your soft tissues)
6. Cognitive behavioral therapy (talk therapy that helps you recognize situations that cause you stress, anxiety, and tension)
7. Biofeedback (a relaxation technique that teaches you to manage pain and stress)
When Should You See a Doctor?
- Any changes in the type of headache you usually get.
- Headaches that don’t go away or that get worse as each day passes.
- Headaches that occur with physical activity (including sex).
- Headaches that happen after injury or illness.
- Headache accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, signs of a stroke (such as difficulty speaking, numbness, weakness), seizures, or changes in your vision.
- Worsening of your headache if you have to strain, as when having a bowel movement, sneezing, or coughing.
- New headaches if you’re over 50.
Source: Everyday Health
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