Headache - Symptoms, Risk factors and Treatment

Headache is a condition that shows up like a throbbing, severe, and debilitating pain in the head. It may occur with other symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting. Headache affects all ages and most commonly runs in families. Women are more likely to have a headache as compared to men. However, it may affect all age groups and genders. Genetic tendency and environment also play a role in it. 

Types 


Headaches can be classified into various kinds. Broadly they can be classified into two types, primary and secondary. 


Primary headache


It is the kind of headache that does not occur due to any other medical condition that can be described as;


  • Cluster headaches

  • Migraine

  • New daily persistent headaches (NDPH)

  • Tension headaches


Secondary headache


It is the type of headache that occurs due to some other underlying condition like;


  • The disease of blood vessels in the brain

  • Head injury

  • Sinus congestion

  • Trauma

  • Tumor

  • High blood pressure (hypertension)

  • Infection

  • Medication overuse


Symptoms


Headache is a throbbing, pulsating, perforating, pounding, and debilitating pain in the head. Sometimes it can be dull and steady. The symptoms of a headache may vary from person to person. Some people may have certain complaints while others have different. Headache can be accompanied by;


  • hyperactivity

  • irritability

  • food cravings

  • depression

  • fatigue or low energy

  • neck stiffness

  • pain on one side of your head, either on the left side, right side, front, or back, or in your temples

  • pulsing and throbbing head pain

  • increased sensitivity to light and sound

  • nausea

  • dizziness or feeling faint

  • vomiting


Causes 


According to experts, there is no exact causative agent for headaches. But it can be triggered from certain triggers. These triggers may also vary from person to person. You must keep an eye on all those triggers that cause you a headache attack. To make it easy for yourself, maintain a diary in which you write about everything you did one or two days before the occurrence of an attack. Some of those triggers can be;


  • A decrease in the neurotransmitter in the brain known as serotonin 

  • Skipping meals and following a different kind of diet like keto or intermittent fasting, especially, cutting down carbohydrates from your diet.

  • Having a change in your sleeping pattern. If you are a patient of migraines, make sure you follow a particular sleeping pattern. 

  • Using certain medications, such as oral contraceptives or nitroglycerin.

  • Exposure to unusual smells and strong ones like that of paint, thinner, or polish. 

  • Exposure to bright lights like that on a dance floor. 

  • Exposure to severe heat, or severe cold. In summer, try to keep yourself indoors, and while in winter, try to cover yourself when you go out. 

  • Not drinking enough water, which leads to dehydration.

  • Having a change in barometric pressure.

  • Eating certain foods like something sour. 

  • Smoke- either that of a cigarette or pollution. 

  • Consuming alcohol

  • Traveling, especially to hilly areas when you have motion sickness.  

  • Hormone changes in women, such as estrogen and progesterone fluctuations during menstruation, pregnancy, or menopause

  • Excessive stress

  • Exposure to loud sounds.

  • Doing intense physical activity.


Conclusion 


Headache can most commonly occur due to migraine- a neurological condition that shows up as a throbbing, severe, and debilitating headache. Mostly, it occurs on one side of the head. Your doctor may prescribe medications like beta-blockers as prophylaxis to treat it. Make sure you try to know about its triggers. And once you figure them out, try to avoid them. When the attack starts, go into a dark, silent, isolated room so that it gets better.


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