Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Headache - Causes and Treatment Options

Headache - Causes and Treatment Options
Headache - Causes and Treatment Options
Everyone gets a headache from time to time.  Some get them more often than others do.  There are several different types of headache and there are many factors that can trigger the onset of a headache.  Some medications even list "headache" as a side affect.  Some headaches can be the side affects of a more serious medical problem.

There are many different causes of the common headache.  These causes include, but are not limited to, meningitis, glaucoma, temporal arteritis and brain tumor.  There are very few illnesses that never show headache as a symptom.  A high fever can also cause headache, as well as irritability and aggression.  Headaches often occur after suffering a head injury, violent coughing, sneezing, or straining and (most commonly in males) occur after sex.

Headache is a term used to describe the pain in the face, neck and sometimes, upper back and shoulder area.  The brain tissue and skull do not actually feel any pain.  This is due to the lack of pain sensitive fibers.  The nerves surrounding the scalp, face and neck are pain sensitive, however.  This is what you feel when you experience a headache.  It is believed that a headache develops because the blood vessels surrounding the head and face become irritated or tense.

There are several different types of headache, however, there are four main types.  These types are vascular, tension, traction and inflammatory.  Each type of headache has a distinct pain and reactions can vary from person to person.

Migraine is the most common of the vascular headaches.  It is characterized by intense pain on one or both sides of the head.  Migraines can also cause nausea or even vomiting.  In some rare cases, disrupted vision can occur.  Migraine headaches are more common in women than in men.  Headache produced by fever, otherwise known as "toxic" headache, is the second most common of the vascular headache.  Recurring headaches that cause intense pain are often called cluster headaches and they are also vascular headaches.

Tension headaches occur when the muscles in the face and neck tighten or tense up.  The pain associated with this tightening can manifest itself in the forehead.  Traction and inflammatory headaches are often symptoms of other conditions.  These conditions can range from sinus infection to something as serious as stroke.

Headaches, like many other symptoms, can be warning signals for some other, more serious condition.  Sudden, intense headache or headache conjoined with stiff neck call for immediate medical attention.  Other headaches that call for this type of medical attention are headaches that associate with fever, convulsions, or unconsciousness.  Headache interrelated with eye or ear pain, intense headache suffered by someone who has no previous history of headache and persistent headache in children can also be warning signs of a more serious condition.

Headaches can be treated many different ways.  Not all headaches require medical attention.  Some physicians recommend adding more exercise to your daily routine or removing certain foods from your diet.  Stress management can also aid in the reduction of headaches, especially migraine.  Over the counter drugs, which contain acetaminophen or paracetamol, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, tylenol and advil can help reduce the pain associated with headache.  If headaches occur more than three times a month, treatment and prevention methods are usually recommended.  If you have severe, recurring headache, consult your doctor.

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