What is a headache?
Pain originating in any region of the face, head or neck is called headache. This pain can be dull or severe and localized to the face, skull or neck. The head is the most common site of pain in the body. Headache may sometimes be associated with nausea, vomiting or dizziness.
What are the different types of headaches?
- Primary headaches: Headache with no clear underlying cause is called primary headache. It may be due to overactivity or strain. Primary headaches might not be life-threatening, but may affect the quality of life. Below are few common types of primary headache:
- Tension headaches: These occur when the muscles of the face or the scalp become tense. This may be due to physical or mental stress.
- Migraine headaches: Migraine pain is moderate to severe and can last from four hours to three days. Multiple factors cause migraines, and they may have a hormonal origin. Migraine symptoms include sensitivity to light, noise or smell.
- Cluster headaches: This type of headache is rare but is the most severe type of primary headache. The pain is severe, throbbing and mostly localized to behind the eye. It may be accompanied by watery eyes and sensitivity to light.
Headaches due to underlying medical condition are called secondary headaches. This includes infection, severe injury, tumors, bleeding in the brain and sometimes, even life-threatening causes. Below are few common types of secondary headache:
- Sinus headaches: The sinus headaches are associated with infection of the sinuses. This pain is associated with a deep and constant throbbing in cheekbones, forehead or bridge of your nose. The pain usually gets worse with sudden head movement or straining.
- Medication overuse headaches: These occur due to overuse over-the-counter painkillers This is among the most common type of severe headache seen in hospitals and is also called “transformed” headache. It is believed that 4% of the population worldwide has chronic daily headaches of some type — a significant subset of which are due to medication overuse.
Any other headaches, facial pain and pain involving the 12 cranial nerves (nerves supplying from brain to other parts of body) are classified in this group.
What are the different causes of headaches?
Triggers for the headache are:
How to get rid of headaches
Headaches can be usually treated at home; however secondary headaches and severe headaches should be evaluated by medical professionals to rule out underlying medical causes. Below are a few common ways to get rid of headaches.
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Migraine HeadacheMigraine headache is a type of headache associated with a sensitivity to light, smells, or sounds, eye pain, severe pounding on one side of the head, and sometimes nausea and vomiting. The exact cause of migraine headaches is not known. Triggers for migraine headaches include certain foods, stress, hormonal changes, strong stimuli (loud noises), and oversleeping. Treatment guidelines for migraines include medicine, pain management, diet changes, avoiding foods that trigger migraines, staying hydrated, getting adequate sleep, and exercising regularly. Prevention of migraine triggers include getting regular exercise, drinking water daily, reducing stress, and avoiding trigger foods.
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