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Overview

Headaches - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Headache?

Headache is the symptom of pain anywhere in the region of the head or neck. It occurs in migraines (sharp, or throbbing pains), tension-type headaches, and cluster headaches. Frequent headaches can affect relationships and employment. There is also an increased risk of depression in those with severe headaches

Types of Headaches :

Headaches such as migraines, cluster headaches, sinus headaches and tension headaches are really agonizing conditions that most of us has faced for at least once in their lives. Most of the time pounding headaches are treated with anti-nausea and pain relieving drugs. Headaches typically cause unwanted symptoms like nausea and vomiting and make us feel week throughout the day. When a headache occurs, the pain originates from the surrounding tissues around the brain or the skull, since anatomically speaking the skull or the brain itself do not have any nerves that may give rise to the sensation known as pain. Since pain are only felt in your metabolism when there are pain fibers in that particular part of our anatomy.

Headaches can develop when and only when nerves and the thin layer of tissue that surrounds the muscles which encases our skull, eyes, ears, sinuses becomes inflamed or irritated for a plethora of reasons. Headaches can be sharp, dull, throbbing, intermittent, constant, intense and mild, depending on the cause of the malady.

In the year 2013, the IHS (International Headache Society) released their latest classification system for this malady. It was though by the experts on this disease that as so many people suffer from this agonizing illness, and since the treatment of headaches becomes very difficult at times, it was hoped that this new classification system will help the health-care professionals to make a more accurate diagnosis of this disease and hence allow a more better and effective options for its treatment.

The three major categories that heads has been classified based upon the pain of source are:

  • Primary headaches
  • Secondary headaches and
  • Facial pain, cranial neuralgias and other kinds of more typical headaches

Primary headaches includes tension, cluster and tension headaches. According to WHO (World Health Organization) 1 out of 20 percent people across the globe suffer with daily tension headaches in their lives. While cluster and migraine headaches affect most men and women during their puberty. Secondary headaches are those headaches which occurs because of underlying structural problems in the head and neck of the patients. This is a very bad kind of medical condition, which can be life threatening at times. Hangovers, traumatic and post-concussion headaches are also included in this type.

The third type of headaches which consists of cranial neuralgia happens because of the inflammation of any one or more of the 12 cranial nerves which originates from the brain. One typical example of these headaches is trigeminal neuralgia, which occurs because of the inflammation of the cranial nerve V and cause intense facial pain when it get inflamed or irritated.

Treatable by medical professional Usually self diagnosable Lab test sometimes required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong
Symptoms
Sensation of tightness or pressure across your forehead or on the sides and back of your head. Tenderness on your scalp, neck and shoulder muscles. Dull, aching head pain.

Popular Health Tips

Heat Headache - How Homeopathy Helps Manage It?

Fellowship In Advanced Homeopathy, P.G.Hom.(London), P.G.Dietetics
Homeopath, Pune
Heat Headache - How Homeopathy Helps Manage It?

Extreme and sudden changes in temperature as well as exposure to such conditions can harm the body and lead us to fall sick. One such condition caused by extreme temperatures is the heat headache, which is a result of prolonged heat exposure. When there is excessive heat, the body can end up reacting with heat strokes, dehydration and headaches, among many other conditions. Thankfully, a holistic approach like homeopathy has the exact solution for such kind of problem. Read on to know more!

  1. Aconite: This medicine is most helpful when there has been direct exposure of the head to the heat. When there is direct exposure to the rays of the sun, the head may end up developing debilitating headaches, which can be treated with this medicine.
  2. Carbo Veg: Along with heat headaches, the patients who will require this medicine will also have symptoms like flatulence and pain in the upper abdomen area. Also, the patient will have a constant need for air conditioning and cool breeze.
  3. Glonine: This medicine is usually helpful when the patient has gone through a sun stroke. High temperature is one of the symptoms of this condition along with persistent heat headaches. Drowsiness will also be experienced by patients in such cases. This medicine mainly treats congestive headaches that have been caused due to a sun stroke.
  4. Natrum Carb: This medicine is used for treating the symptoms of sun strokes that result in intense headaches caused due to exposure to extreme heat. Also, it is a good medicine to use when there is exhaustion and exposure to other chemicals like gas light.
  5. Bryonia: When the patient is dehydrated and demands water constantly along with the heat headaches, one can use this medicine. The patient will require plenty of water and rest along with this medicine.
  6. Belladona: This medicine can be prescribed for patients who are experiencing shooting pains on the intense and violent side in the head. These kinds of headaches also cause symptoms like cold feet and blood shot eyes. Belladona can be used to soothe these symptoms.
  7. Antimonium Crud: The symptoms that this medicine can cure include abdomen painindigestion, aches and pains in the head – all of which are caused due to a sun stroke and heat headaches. When the heat headaches have been caused due to hot drinks and a hot bath, this medicine can be used for treatment of the same.
  8. Lachesis: This medicine can be used for treating heat headaches that are accompanied by symptoms like faint headedness, dizzy spells as well as the inability to sleep. These symptoms are usually caused by a sun stroke. 

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4810 people found this helpful

Sodium Deficiency - What Are Its Symptoms?

MBBS, MD , DiP DIAB, FACP
General Physician, Bangalore
Sodium Deficiency - What Are Its Symptoms?

Sodium deficiency or hyponatraemia refers to the low sodium concentration in the body of an individual. As other minerals, Sodium also plays essential roles in the human body. It is required for many of the functions of the body, including blood pressure management, fluid balance and the proper functioning of the nervous system. It may also sometimes lead to neurological impairments which affect walking and attention and could also result in bone fracture. Hyponatremia can be caused due to drinking too much of water, without enough replacement of sodium from the body. However, consuming too much of sodium can increase the volume of blood in the body, resulting in various health problems and can sometimes lead a person to coma.

The symptoms of sodium deficiency or hyponatraemia aren’t usually always specific. They can differ from person to person and depend on how rapid the fall in the sodium concentration of the body is. However, some of the common symptoms that are usually seen in the affected persons are as follows:

  1. Gastrointestinal distress: One of the symptoms of hyponatraemia includes gastrointestinal distress. It may cause a decrease in the appetite of an individual and also result in nausea and vomiting. However, if a person suffering from sodium deficiency experiences vomiting, then their problem may continue to worsen.
  2. Cognitive Impairment: Deficiency in sodium level can also result in abnormal mental status. Hyponatremia causes expanding of the tissue cells in the body. However, maximum tissues in the body can handle this change but the brain cannot. It is not capable of compensating for the increased size of the cells and as a result, the brain starts to dysfunction and causes a headache, confusion, lethargy and the problem of fatigue. With the worsening of the conditions, the person can experience hallucinations, decrease in consciousness and may also lead to coma.
  3. Muscular Problems: Due to the drop in Sodium concentration, a person can experience various muscular problems including spasms or cramps. He/She may also suffer from fatigue. The weakness in the muscles and seizures are some of the additional symptoms of sodium deficiency.

The severity of these symptoms depends on the speed i.e., on how fast the fall in the blood salt level is. A gradual, low-level drop can be tolerated if it lasts for a few days or weeks, but the deficiency of sodium in the body can be fatal if not treated as early as possible. It may even lead to the death of a person.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3074 people found this helpful

Anemia - What Causes It?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Internal Medicine Specialist, Secunderabad
Anemia - What Causes It?

Anemia is a medical condition in which the red blood cell count or hemoglobin is less than normal. Haemoglobin is the main part of red blood cells and it binds oxygen. If you have few or abnormal red blood cells, or your hemoglobin is low, the cells in your body will not get enough oxygen. Anemia can last temporarily or for a long-term, and it can range from mild to severe. If you suspect you have anemia, see your doctor immediately because it can be a warning sign of a serious illness. A person who has anemia is called anemic.

Sign and symptoms of anemia: Because a low blood cell count decreases oxygen delivery to every tissue in the body, anemia can cause a variety of signs and symptoms. It can also worsen the state of any other underlying medical condition. If anemia is mild, it may not cause any symptoms. If anemia is chronic, the body may adapt and compensate for the change. In this case, there may not be any symptoms until anemia becomes more severe. Anemia signs and symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the condition. These may include fatigue, weakness, pale or yellowish skin, irregular heartbeats, breathlessness, dizziness, chest pain, cold hands and feet, and headache.

Causes of anemia: Anemia occurs when your body doesn’t have enough red blood cells. This can happen if:

  1. Your body doesn’t make enough red blood cells: The bone marrow is essential for the creation of red blood cells. A number of diseases can affect the bone marrow, including leukemia, where too many abnormal white blood cells are produced. This disrupts normal production of red blood cells.
  2. Bleeding causes you to lose red blood cells more quickly than they can be replaced: Iron deficient anemia is the most common type of anemia which often falls into this category. It is caused by a shortage of iron, which most often results due to blood loss. Blood loss can be acute and rapid or chronic. Rapid blood loss can happen at the time of surgery, childbirth, trauma, or a ruptured blood vessel.
  3. Your body destroys red blood cells: Red blood cells have a lifespan of 120 days in the bloodstream but they can be destroyed or removed beforehand. In one type of anemia, the body’s immune system mistakenly identifies its own red blood cells as a foreign substance and attacks them. Excessive red blood cell breakdown can also occur due to infections, the use of certain drugs, snake or spider venom, severe hypertension, and in the case of clotting disorders.

Treatment of anemia: The treatment of anemia varies greatly. First, the underlying cause of anemia needs to be identified and corrected. Most of the times, iron supplements will be needed to correct iron deficiency. In severe anemia, blood transfusions may be necessary. Vitamin B12 injections are necessary in some cases who are suffering from a specific type of anemia.

Prevention of anemia: Many types of anemia can’t be prevented. But iron deficient anemia and vitamin deficient anemia can be avoided by having a diet that includes a variety of vitamins and nutrients, including iron, folate, vitamin B12, and vitamin C.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4920 people found this helpful

Headache - 5 Types Which Are Most Common!

PGDMCH, MBA( CHA) , MBBS
General Physician, Gurgaon
Headache - 5 Types Which Are Most Common!

Headaches are a big headache. While it is okay to have a one-off pain in the head, a constant nagging headache is not good. It is, however, one of the most common medical problems and can affect a person’s social life, school/office work, and overall quality of life. The pain in the head is caused by a problem in the nerve supply, blood supply, muscles, or other tissues in the brain/head region.

There are various reasons for a headache and the most common ones are listed below along with some measures that you make take to cure a headache.

  1. Sinus headaches: Sinusitis of any of the 4 sinuses in the head region is accompanied by a headache. The exact location of the headache can depend on the sinus affected, but there is also fever, heaviness in the head, shortness of breath and congestion. During an attack, the patient is usually given antibiotics to get rid of the infection along with decongestants to clear up the airway.
  2. Migraines: Usually running in families, migraines are characteristic in being one-sided, throbbing pain that is associated with sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and vomiting. These can last from 4 to 72 hours and can be preceded by an aura. People with migraines, after some trial and error, identify the best medication that works for them and use it when the aura sets in. They should also avoid light and sound if they are sensitive.
  3. Tension headaches: There is a feeling of tension or pressure around the head in the area of the head and neck. The discomfort is not as disabling as migraines and there are no associated symptoms. Regular pain killers like aspirin, ibuprofen or acetaminophen are usually effective.
  4. Cluster headaches: These headaches occur in cycles or clusters and hence the name. Often one-sided, the patient will also have congestion, watery eyes, and runny nose on the same side as the pain. Regular pain medications are again the most commonly used mode of management.
  5. Rebound headaches: When a person uses too much painkillers to manage aches and pains, they can rebound and cause headache. This can be a withdrawal symptom as the dose of the medicine level drops and subsides over a period of time.

There are multiple other forms of headaches caused by spinal disorders, caffeine intake, menstrual cycles, chronic cough, hangovers, tumors of the head/face/neck, encephalitis, meningitis, post traumatic episodes, temporal arteritis, etc.

While most headaches are self-limiting, if there are associated symptoms like increased frequency, blurring of vision, seizures, stiff neck, fainting, coordination issues, then further investigation is immediately warranted. These could be indicative of a more serious condition like a stroke or internal hemorrhage and need immediate attention.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
 

3360 people found this helpful

Headaches & Eyes - Are They Related?

M.S. Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Vadodara
Headaches & Eyes - Are They Related?

Headaches are very commonly experienced by humans. They arise from many causes across many systems of our body and also mind. The causes may range from trivial to grave in their seriousness. Following are common causes of headaches arising from Eye Problems

  1. Refractive Errors ( having glasses): Headaches can occur when people don’t use glasses which they may be having or using wrong glasses ( undercorrected or overcorrected glasses). Typically such headaches are not present after rest as in waking up after a night’s sleep. As the day progresses, the headache builds up and may be worst by the evening. It may also worsen on reading or watching TV. It is usually relieved by rest or after night’s sleep. Such type of headache should prompt a person to get an eye check up for glasses and use appropriate glasses. Often, glasses got from optical shops directly may also be inaccurate and cause headaches. So it is better to get tested by an eye doctor or an optometrist.

  2. Glaucoma - Rise of Intraocular Pressure (IOP): Eye pressure rises can be Acute ( sudden) or Chronic (persistent). Sudden rise of Eye pressure occurs in Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma in which, typically in evening hours there occurs a headache and accompanied by an eye ache on one side ( Right or Left eye) which may be associated with seeing rainbow colored haloes from that eye, redness of eye and reduction of vision. This may occur for a short while with low intensity and also disappear on its own as night comes on ( Intermittent Angle Closure). Or it may persist, intensify and cause a worst kind of headache and eye pain (like an attack) associated with vomiting or nausea ( Acute angle closure). Earliest assessment/ treatment by Eye doctor is required. The pressure rise in chronic type (Open Angle Glaucoma) is usually painless but sometimes vague headaches for no reason occurring in middle age or later may point to its presence.

  3. Muscle Imbalance: The two eyes normally work together. Some problems in this binocular harmony ( Technically called Phorias, convergence insufficiency, accommodative insufficiency, don’t worry if you can’t understand these terms) may cause headaches, especially in children and young adults. Your eye doctor will help.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2652 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

My Father is 57 years old. He got all his sinuses blocked. Its sinusitis. He has been using nasal wash and montelukast for 2 years Now from 3 days severe headache fever sore throat please suggest any treatment do respond soon.

M.B.B.S, MS ENT, MRCS Ed ENT, Fellowship Golf
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Your father require proper assessment, he might need CT scan evaluation and possibly surgery for chronic sinusitis.

Sir I am 21 years old. I have a bad habit of masturbation over 5 years. Now I am suffering from headache bodweek, loss of memory what should I do.

MBBS
General Physician, Sambalpur
Hello Lybrate user no need to worry about it. Before suggesting any medicine or medical advice first details history taking is needed. You may be required to some tests. Then only I can suggest you proper medication. For details you can consult me online on this site with an appointment. I am available on text chat as well as phone call.
2 people found this helpful

I am suffering from sore throat, body pain and headache from last 3-4 days. Experiencing weakness too. Took a tablet of paracetamol this morning. No change since than. What are the symptoms indicating? And which medicine should be taken in this case? And what to eat?

MD - Homeopathy, BHMS
Homeopath, Vadodara
Hello lybrate-user. It can be viral fever like influenza or dengue. Or Malaria. Etc. With blood reports only we can confirm it. And then can give treatment. You can consult me through Lybrate for proper treatment.

I am 20 year old male. I am suffering from headache. 18 months ago when I was suffering from minor headache I consult with doctor. He had given me medicine. But now I am addicted of these medicine. Feel so.

DM - Neurology, Fellowship in Stroke Neurology, MD - General Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
Neurologist, Kolkata
Dear friend, Medicines given for headaches are generally of two types. One is prophylactic medicine which controls the headache and another is abortive which relieves it. If your doctor has prescribed a medicine on daily basis for you, it is most likely a prophylactic one which is usually applied on trial and error method to judge its effectiveness on basis of decrement in intensity, frequency and duration of headaches. However please note it can not cure headache. So, I think you need to report your doctor about present status of the headache when possible and there is no chance of addiction (these prophylactic medicines have their course which need to be completed.) Wish you a very good health!
1 person found this helpful