There is no doubt that all generations have been affected by headaches, which can be triggered by various factors – from a common cold to PMS. You can easily deal with this condition if you know the cause of your headache.
Types of Headaches
According to experts, the most common contributors to a headache are inflammation (infection), vascular problems (high blood pressure), and muscle contractions (tension, stress, etc).
A person suffering from a migraine may feel a sharp throbbing or pulsing sensations. Normally, migraines are accompanied by vomiting, nausea, or noise sensitivity. However, in severe cases, some people have reported that they have experienced visual hallucinations such as an “aura”, dots or flashing lights, disruptions in smell, touch and taste or numbness. This type of headache usually goes away leaving you exhausted and unable to concentrate.
The root causes of this headache are stress and anxiety. It usually causes pressure, pulling and contractions that affect your temples, face, and scalp as muscles tighten in your shoulders, neck and jaw. It lasts for a few minutes to a few days. It most common contributors are stressful situations, alcohol, missed meals, lack of sleep, and high emotions.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) headaches usually occur as a result of problems with the jaw, jaw point, and lower facial muscles. Some of the factors that trigger this type of headaches are clenching or teeth grinding, arthritis, tension in the jaw, and dislocation of the jaw joint. Even if this pain originates in the jaw, it can spread upwards towards the cheeks, temples, and ears or downwards to the neck and shoulder.
A sinus headache is caused by inflamed or blocked sinuses. It can affect the area behind the cheeks, eyes, and nose. This type of pain worsens when bending forward or when waking up. Its symptoms are similar to those of migraines. Some of the most common causes of inflamed sinuses are allergic reactions, infections, or tumors.
Often referred to as cervicogenic headache, this type of headache doesn’t normally affect your head. The pain can only be felt on the neck and shoulder blades spreading to the head. Its known causes are muscle knots, muscle damage and joint problems, pinched nerve, abnormal bone growths, and tumors.
This type of headache occurs several times a day for months. Usually, it is followed by a headache-free period of up to 6 months.
A cluster headache is sharp and painful, often lasts less than an hour, and appears above the eye and near the temples. There are cases wherein it is accompanied by a bloodshot eye and a runny nose.
When To See A Doctor
According to the Nation Health Institute Headaches, there are more serious causes of headaches and these include:
- Brain tumor
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Sleep apnea
- Brain infection, such as meningitis or encephalitis, or abscess
- Problems with the blood vessels and bleeding in the brain, such as arteriovenous malformation (AVM), brain aneurysm, or stroke
- Bleeding in the area between the brain and the thin tissue that covers the brain
- Buildup of pressure inside the skull that resembles, but is not a tumor (pseudo motor cerebri)
- Buildup of fluid inside the skull that leads to brain swelling (hydrocephalus)
If you are experiencing any of the following symptoms listed below, then it’s time to seek medical attention instantly.
- A terrible headache, even if you regularly get headaches.
- An explosive or violent headache that occurs
- It worsens over 24 hours.
- The headache occurs with a head injury.
- The headache is accompanied by a fever, stiff neck, nausea, and vomiting.
- Recurring headaches, especially if you are older than 50.
- A history of cancer or immune system problems (such as HIV/AIDS) and new headache occurrence.
- The headache is accompanied by slurred speech, a change in vision, problems moving your arms or legs, loss of balance, confusion, or memory loss.
- A severe headache affecting just one eye and causing redness in that eye.
- The headaches are related to vision problems, pain while chewing, or weight loss.
Some over-the-counter pain relievers are used to soothe a bad migraine. However, regular use of painkillers can start causing headaches.
Luckily, there are natural solutions you can try that can effectively give relief from chronic headaches. Some of them include:
- Ginger tea
- Himalayan salt
- Lavender lemonade
- Vitamin B2
You also need to drink a lot of water and take some rest when a headache starts.