Headache & Migraine

HEAD ACHE

Because a lot of people lead busy lives, there are times that their bodies yield to the strain caused by stress and overwork. One of the symptoms that indicate that a person needs to take a break once in a while is the occurrence of a headache. A headache is not exactly an illness or a disease. In many instances, it is an indication of other conditions, such as flu, high blood pressure, eye problems, and others.

Head ache is also called as the cephalgia in the medical terminology. Head ache includes the pain in the head, neck and in many conditions the upper back pain also is considered to be related to headache. Compared to other diseases, the causes and treatments of head ache are self limiting.

When we go deeper into the details of a head ache, we should understand that the brain is not sensitive to pain as the brain lacks the nerve fibers which are sensitive to pain. Contrary to this several blood vessels and the meninges have the pain perception. Therefore head aches are caused due to the irritation or traction to these sensitive parts of brain. The same way the muscles present in the head are also sensitive to pain and causes head ache in the event or post an accident.

Many people get headaches for a variety of reasons. The severity of headaches also vary, as there are mild and temporary ones, while there are more long lasting kinds of headaches in various portions of the head. The causes of head ache can range from tension, a simple eye strain, low blood sugar levels, sinusitis and dehydration. For persons who work in offices, especially when they spend a long time in front of the computer, they are prone to headaches. Any type of activity that exposes you to eye strain can give you regular headaches if you don’t rest for a few minutes. You can also strain your eyes if you already have a vision problem, but are not using prescription glasses or contact lenses to help you see better.

Some studies have shown that headaches are also caused by fatigue, lack of sleep, and not eating at the right time. When one drinks too much alcohol, smokes constantly, or is using dangerous drugs, he may also experience headaches on a regular basis. Headaches that are accompanied by stuffiness may also be called hangovers, which usually happen after the body is exposed to excessive amounts of alcohol, or when it is present in high doses in the bloodstream.

Other than these common factors, in rare circumstances there could also be symptoms of head aches during brain tumor, high blood pressure and meningitis. It is also apparent to have chronic head aches after any form of head injuries. Among the females there could head aches due to the fluctuation of estrogen levels during menstruation.

Treatments for headaches are very basic. Unless headaches are persistent, for such a physical problem very few people visit a doctor. Sometimes, a person just needs to rest in order to allow the pain to subside. In many cases, non-prescription drugs can do the trick, such as pain relievers containing acetaminophen or ibuprofen. But popping such analgesics can be dangerous way of treating head ache, since in the case of migraine and other complicated head aches due to injuries the treatment would be different. Leading a healthy lifestyle that is alcohol-free and cigarette-free also avoids further headaches. Regular exercise and the proper diet are always recommended.

MIGRAINE

A migraine is a type of headache that is more intense than usual. Some doctors explain that this headache is hereditary, as there have been cases of relatives who are often attacked with migraines. Women are said to be more likely to experience this than men.

Unlike head ache migraine is a neurological disorder which causes varied symptoms. Amongst these symptoms the common symptom is head ache. The head aches caused by migraine can last up to three days and can follow vomiting and other gastro intestinal problems. The reasons that make migraine quite dangerous are that it is quite inconsistent. The triggering factors and the treatment vary from patients to patients. It is an effective method to apply cool or moist cloth over the affected area, but on certain patients it can worsen the migraine.

Migraine can be said to occur in four phases, but it is not necessary for all the patients to undergo all the phases. The phases include prodrome phase which occurs much before the onset of head ache. Next phase is the aura which precedes the head ache. The phase of pain is during the head ache and then the postdrome.

The treatments include the self medication developed by the individual. Other than cooling and washing the head often, some patients find it effective to sit in a dark room. For patients reported with persistent migraine it is advised to take migraine abortive medications. For weather related migraine like in the case of pilots they can adopt to valsalva maneuver which is used to clear the Eustachian tube of the ear. In many cases meditation is also found to be an effective method of migraine treatment. Medical encyclopaedias explain that migraines may also be triggered by hormonal imbalances, so it can be remedied by taking hormone pills. When a person is exposed to constant bright light or noise, sudden change in temperature or air pressure, he or she may experience migraine as well. To avoid having migraines, leading a vice-free life is also the way to go, according to sources.
 

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