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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
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

Common Reasons Behind Cluster Headaches!

MBBS, MS - General Surgery, MCh - Neurosurgery
Neurosurgeon, Guwahati
Common Reasons Behind Cluster Headaches!

Cluster headaches are referred to as a series of headaches that are extremely painful. These episodes of pain are generally of a short duration and can happen on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Most importantly, these headaches occur at a particular time of each year because these headaches are seasonal in nature. This is the main reason that many people often mistake this cluster headache for the signs and symptoms of allergies or stress. The cluster headaches can be more severe than an attack of a migraine but they do not last long usually. An individual who is suffering from this problem can wake up in the middle of the night because of the intense pain. This typically occurs at a particular time each of the night.

Signs and Symptoms of Cluster Headaches

  • It is essential to identify the signs and symptoms of any disease for the proper diagnosis, and it is same for cluster headaches as well. If the symptoms are correctly identified, then an effective treatment will prevent the further worsening of the condition.
  • The primary symptom is that the pain remains particularly on one single side of the head. The pain might be sharp, penetrating and might create a burning sensation. Then you might simply become restless with the pain. The side affected with the pain turns the eye tearful and watery.
  • There might be a pain in that particular eye as well accompanied with a swelling around the eye. The eye might even turn reddish too. This condition also the affects the nose making it stuffy, blocked or runny on the side of the pain. The pupil of the eye may shrink, and the face appears to be sweaty.

Causes of cluster headaches

  • The experts are still not hundred percent sure about the causes of cluster headaches. It is identified that a great deal of hyperactivity of the hypothalamus of the brain can cause cluster headaches.
  • The hypothalamus is the part of the brain that helps in the controlling of the temperature of the body, thirst, and hunger.
  • A cluster headache is caused due to the release of certain chemicals from the hypothalamus which causes the blood vessels to widen resulting in an increased flow of blood to the brain.

The periodical nature of a headache is due to the linkage of the biological clock that is located in the hypothalamus. The unusual level of hormones melatonin and cortisol is one of the causes of a cluster headache. Consumption of alcohol and smoking can contribute the cause of cluster headaches as well. At the same time, it can be resulting from the side effects of other medication.

Hence, a proper identification of the cause is necessary for the treatment of a cluster headache.

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

1906 people found this helpful

Is There A Test For Self-Assessment For Neurological Disorders?

MBBS, MD - Medicine, DM - Neurology
Neurologist, Gurgaon
Is There A Test For Self-Assessment For Neurological Disorders?

It is very important for any individual suffering from a neurological disorder to take medical assistance. The possible neurological condition can be diagnosed by doing some medical examinations. Some of the examinations that are conducted for diagnosis include a neurological exam, genetic screening, brain scans and many other tests.

Malfunction of the brain can be caused in more than one region of the brain like frontal cortex, anterior cingulate, Parietal cortex and Basal ganglia. It is very important that symptoms are noticed and required tests are done immediately. In case of malfunctioning in the Basal ganglia, there are chances that patients experience more anxiety and avoid clashes in life excessively.

Self - assessment test for neurological disorders

  • Self-assessment and self-administered tests can identify the presence of the neurological disorder, but it is best to seek medical assistance in such cases. The self-assessment tests can be done by an individual when they face symptoms like problems in urinating, difficulty in concentrating, problems with writing and holding objects, and experiencing blurred vision.
  • It is important for an individual facing complaints like a headache, numbness in the arms or legs, changes in behavior, fatigue, blurry vision, slurred speech, weakness and changes in coordination to contact a medical professional. The thought of neurological disorder itself is very threatening and understanding the drug options available is very important.

Medications Used
The type of medication prescribed to the patients depends mainly on the condition of the neurological disorder. Some of the drugs that are prescribed include corticosteroids. These are provided for treatment of multiple sclerosis and decrease inflammation. Levodopa is a drug used mainly for treating Parkinson’s disease. In addition to physical examination and complete medical history, the diagnostic procedures that are carried out for neurological disorders include Computer Tomography scan (CT scan), Electroencephalogram (EEG), Electromyography (EMG) and Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Important Tips to Consider
The drugs used for treating neurological disorders also cause some side effects. In some cases, patients even develop a drug addiction. In such cases, the two critical components of drug addiction like withdrawal and dependence should be understood very well. Dependence on the drug occurs mainly when the patient takes the medication for a prolonged period of time. Further, depending on the nature of the medication and personal situation of the patient, addiction develops quickly. The patient tends to experience withdrawal symptoms if they become dependent on the medication and when they abruptly stop taking it. The symptoms that are caused in this situation include nausea, tremor, and headache. There are many other diagnostic tests also carried out that are useful and prevent further damage to the nervous system.

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

3409 people found this helpful

Chronic Headache - 8 Simple Steps That Can Help Managing It!

MD - Anaesthesiology, F.U.I.C.C.(Pain) Pain Management Specialist
Pain Management Specialist, Nagpur
Chronic Headache - 8 Simple Steps That Can Help Managing It!

A headache is one of the most common ailments experienced by most people. While some have a definite cause and pattern, others come and go without a proper cause being identified. The severe ones which recur and can affect the quality of life are dreaded by the sufferers. In these people, they know the pattern of it and the thought of it can be scaring. With a lot of research being done, the good news is that there are simple but effective ways of managing these headaches.

Read on to know some of the most common simple ways to get rid of your headache.

  1. Quieten down: One of the triggers for a headache is bright light and sound and noise. When you try to reduce the amount of noise, light, and sound, surprisingly the headaches will disappear or reduce in intensity for sure.
  2. Eat on time: Hunger headaches are one of the most common types, and not many realize it. When the gap between two meals is too long, headaches occur. Eating on time is a good and simple way to manage headaches in those who are prone to it.
  3. Drink it up: Surprisingly, dehydration can lead to headaches, especially when combined with being out in the sun. For fear of having to pass urine, do not make the mistake of not drinking enough water. Keep sipping small amounts and prevent a headache.
  4. Meditate: Meditating and improving blood flow through the cells helps in preventing and/or reducing the intensity of headaches. This helps relax the muscles and improves pain tolerance too.
  5. Headgear: For those who are used to wearing tight headgear, loosening up can help in the relief of headaches. Be it a scarf or bandana or a hairband, this can compress blood flow and cause a headache. Loosening these can reduce a headache.
  6. Massage: A good massage around the forehead, neck, and shoulder is one of the best ways to relax and relieve headaches. This also soothes the nerves and improves blood flow.
  7. Hot/cold therapy: A good shower (preferred to bath) with alternate hot and cold water works wonders for most people with headaches. While the cold water soothes your nerves, the hot water improves blood flow and provides relief.
  8. Medications: Needless to say, if none of the above work for you, you would have to take medications. The trick to taking the pill that works for you (prescribed by the doctor, of course!) as soon as you realize the onset of a headache. This helps in controlling the pain quickly and getting rid of a headache.

While headaches are inevitable, there are definitely ways to manage them easily.

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

2696 people found this helpful

High Blood Pressure And Headache - Is There A Relationship?

MBBS, MRCP (UK), PG Diploma In Lipid Management, MBA (Healthcare)
Cardiologist, Bangalore
High Blood Pressure And Headache - Is There A Relationship?

Almost everyone these days is familiar with headaches. The throbbing pain that invades your headspace when you are in the middle of your meeting or work – where you need to focus. It is unforgiving and a big nuisance.

Mostly common conditions like fatigue, lack of sleep, stress, sinus and migraine cause pain in the head. But recent studies show that high blood pressure, or what is commonly known as hypertension, may also lead to severe headaches. Most of the time high blood pressure do not exhibit any symptoms and hence is referred to as ‘the silent killer’. More often than not people do not even realize how a mild headache can be a result of hypertension.

The Link between Hypertension and Headaches
Hypertension or high blood pressure usually occurs when the force of the blood flow in the arteries increase. A headache resulting from high blood pressure usually affects both sides of the head, particularly the temple regions. One major and common cause of high blood pressure is stress. Although people may not be able to find a relationship between the two, one may experience mild but steady pain throughout the head particularly in the forehead or at the back of the head.

In high blood pressure, a palpitating sensation in the temple region often accompanies the sensation of pain in the head. Pain in the temple region is usually accompanied by mild headaches for which you should seek medical attention. Hypertensive emergency is normally considered when the blood pressure reaches above 180/110. Besides headaches, high blood pressure can also take a serious toll on your health leading to stroke or heart attack, if not treated on time.

There are three types of hypertension conditions that are followed by mild to severe headaches:

  1. Malignant Hypertension- Sudden or rapid increase in blood pressure causes malignant hypertension, which requires medical attention. This is more common among young adults and women with pregnancy-induced high blood pressure.
  2. Idiopathic Intracranial Hypertension- This condition is characterized by increased blood pressure around the brain and is commonly diagnosed with symptoms like vision problems, shoulder pain, thumping noise in the ears, nausea, and severe headaches almost every day.
  3. Hypertensive Encephalopathy- An extreme version of elevated blood pressure, can cause swelling in the brain, severe headaches that may worsen, nausea, dizziness, seizures and even coma.

Uncontrolled high blood pressure can be deadly, and is more common among smokers and older people. The condition can be controlled by adopting certain dietary measures- diet rich in vegetables and fruits, but low in fat, salt, sugary and sweetened beverages, and red meat. However, with proper medications and a balanced diet, one may be able to keep their blood pressure in check. Once the blood pressure normalizes, the headache also disappears in no time.

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

2779 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!

2654 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

I am taking zicam 0.25 and paroxetine 12 for anxiety for last one year now I want to quit it but when I tried it gradually I feel headache and blurred vision is it possible to get out of it completely please guide me in a proper way. Thank you.

MBBS, M S (Ophthalmology )
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
You have to consult your eye surgeon for blurring of vision. Donot stop the medicine all at once. You have to taper it down. Take help of your prescribing Doctor.
1 person found this helpful

I have smoking habit of approx 4-5 cigarettes a day. Sometimes like 2-3 days in a week I get intense pain in my forehead and part behind the eyes and in upper layers of eyes due to smoking I guess. But the pain doesn't occur daily. Its like after every 1-2 days. And also this pain gets rectified every time after taking 1 tablet of saridon. What is the recommendation here?

Reparenting Technique, BA, BEd
Psychologist, Bangalore
You must quit smoking immediately. Not only for the symptoms you are facing but also because any amount of tobacco consumption is harmful. After you stop you can watch these symptoms to see if there is any change or improvement. Don't wait for immediate results. These things take time. If you need help to quit, here are some guidelines: You have to quit cold turkey because the body and mind will torture you endlessly while attempting a reduction in smoking. The tobacco tar in cigarette smoke lines your lung with huge patches that make that portion dysfunctional. Your oxygen carrying capacity is jeopardized, and breathing is impinged on. But don’t be discouraged because it is not too late even now to reverse all the ill-effects of smoking. I don’t know what other organs could be damaged but do go for a thorough medical check-up to assess the effects of your abuse. Regarding improving your lungs, do a lot of aerobic exercise breathing through your nostrils only. Then there are a lot of deep breathing exercises in Yoga which you can learn too. Deep breathing cleanses your system and lungs and restores it to good health. Deep breathing uses the 80% of the lungs which are not normally used in normal breathing and even when exerting yourself. The greatest effect is in the lungs because this substance is processed through the respiratory system directly through the lung surface. When quitting, you must take one day at a time; though you must give up all smoking at once, and promptly. If you look too far ahead you will get discouraged and will give up. If you sit and count the number of days you have given up, that will also focus too much on achievement. You must focus on the here and now, on that day to be precise. After all quitting is not that easy due to many factors. So even if you fail one day, you must try and try again. Very few people succeed in their first attempt. Your persistence will eventually pay off. The urge to discontinue is hampered by many factors but the worst of them is the conditioning. In fact, these conditions can exist all through the day, unlike other addictions. But your desire to want to stop is the most important factor. It is important to find out about the ill-effects of smoking to have a reason that alarms you about continuing the habit. The information is really scary but true and you must remind yourself about this every day. The nicotine in tobacco smoke stimulates the heartbeat to raise the blood pressure in no time at all. So you must avoid it like the plague: it is just very bad medicine for you. In fact, it is highly toxic too. You will need to stop smoking or consuming any tobacco related items with immediate effect. You should start vigorous exercises, gradually increasing it over a period of time. Do deep breathing exercises every time you feel like smoking (try Yoga), and replace the oral urge with some healthy food substitute to satiate the need. You may also take hard candy or chew gum. If the urge is too strong, then use nicotine gums and nicotine patches, for a little while until the smoking drive reduces, substantially. You may also join Smokers Anonymous in your city where the support is really extraordinary for like-minded people who are also in the same situation. Keep yourself occupied or engaged with interesting activities during the times when it is most tempting. Keep the company of non-smokers for some time i.e. At least for the first 21 days. Above all announce it to everyone that you have quit smoking. Here’s a piece of very good advice: even if you accidentally/willfully take a cigarette, it is not the end of the world – you can start the cessation all over again. You must persevere with the best support until you defeat this addiction. Counseling is very useful in the initial stages and when temptations are at their highest. You could also join twitter2quit program and enjoy its success to give up smoking.
7 people found this helpful

My eyes and forehead area feels heavy from 3-4 days. And I have small bump on left side tip of my tongue which is painful. There is dizziness also. And I have started feeling tired. What can be the reason?

Dermatologist, Chennai
You are suffering from allergic dermatitis. Medicine available for good improvement. As the treatment varies depending on the severity. Send photos of the affected area, for accurate diagnosis and treatment.

Table of Content

What is Headache?

Types of Headaches :

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How to Deal with Headache?

Myself is Dr. Harshita Sethi. I am ayurvedic physician, diet and lifestyle consultants.

Today I m going to talk about common problem which is headache. We all experienced headache in our lifetime. It is very prevalent in all over the world. I have practiced in UK for 8 years and their I have also seen so many patients complaining about a headache we can classify headache in two different categories one when it comes in a full fledge form like migraines headache, sinus headache, cluster headache or tension headache and second when it is associate with some other underline cause like fever hypertension other eye refracted problems sinusitis, high intake alcohol and really intracranial tumors so i have seen headache running in the families the people who have got more wata in there body who have got more water pre dominant body constitution they have tend to get less threshold so there nerves are little bit weaker so as soon as the get the trigger then there nerves start reacting or stimulating an this start getting headache this trigger can be change in routine, loud noise, change in temperature, change in heat or acidity, constipation etc. an there can be different kind of pain which they can experience burning, throbbing, pulsating and it could be pursing pain in Ayurveda also achariya s have mentioned different kind of headache and very beautiful they have describe this pain like a bhedak, sarak and lemon types of headaches are mention under shirorig by achariya-Shao sharod so one variety is Wataj which is more related to gastric upset when we have constipation we traied to make kore gas in our tummies then we tend have this wajach kind of shrerook secound is fitaaj when we have acidity then we have burning kind of headache then kafaaj shiroroo which is related To sinuses congestion or heaviness in head which happen to more accumulation of mucus then sunny pataj which is the mixture of All of them then there is raktaj variety, krimaj variety, shaiaj variety and ananat wata, arda bhedak, suriya wadh and shankath all these varieties Are beautifully described in ayourwedic tect like anantwarta could be a correlated with, or dhao bedahak could be correlated with migraines carity where we feel the headache pain in half side of our head either right or left. it is written that i comes in 10 days or 15 days an there is another one suriyawrata which could be co related to sinusitis as The sun goes up then the pain goes high as the sun comes down then pain start subsequently down so these are beautifully mentioned in ayurvedik text then there is another variety called shankhakh which happen in the terminal stages of cancer its usually difficult to treat but very beautifully mentioned in Ayurveda and different causes are mentioned in Ayurveda because once we know the cause then we can treat according to cause and we can cure the disease the causes could be long holding of natural urges then people are setting in the offices not going to the toilet at the rite time then they tend to develop to symptom when the people sleeping wrong posture when people take more cold drinks and food especially in night time then it could be one of cause we can say life style is not regulated there is no time to wake and sleep then we tend to get shiro roga headached now we comes to the chikitsa so we have to treat the cause once we know the cause weather its due to acidity constipation or stree full life then we treat according too cause we do various therapies we do various ayurvedik formulation in the form of Decoption, tablets or liquids or powders and i tell my patients to do a very simple thing on daily basis which they can do at home or here we can do it center in a form of nasiyum therapy we put two drops of antails badataila shunbindtaula in the Noses tail which can nourish the nerves which can strength the nerves an i tell people you take almond oil when u know the headache is going to happen u can put pressure on these marna points which can calm down your nerves and then nasiyum tharapy can be done 7, 8 times over here in any panchkana center an then this practice of anu taila intilation nostrils can be practice a daily bases at home so there various herbs which we use like jhata mansi, molethi, wacha, jotish mati various kinds of oils we use in our chikitsa.

So, it is beautifully mentioned in ayurveda text so we can cure this problem and we can avoid this problem so you contact me through Lybrate or I practice ayurveda at two of my centers one is in noida another one is in gurgaon. So I run my practice with the awaidna ayurveda.

Thank you very much.
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Treating Migraines, Headaches, Insomnia and Depression
Here are tips of treating migraines, headaches, insomnia and depression

Myself Dr. Girish and I have a clinic, physio health plus at sector 50 at Gurgaon and my team's doctor Amit and all we are treating many patient or migraine headache and insomnia depression and all. So the thing is that we are not considering the thing what happening with us main thing happening with our alignment of the head and neck to this spine this is changing just because of our wrong posture. This is not going to consider any doctors any medicine any all.

So the thing is not the normal alignment of the head to the spinal changing either left or right forward and backward so the whatever the spinal and whatever the brain stance is coming to this part, this is compressing the spinal cord and the resulting in the different symptoms of diabetes, thyroidism and many digestive disorder. Also this is not cured by any medicine so whatever thing we are doing especially for headache in migraine we are aligning your head and neck with your spine to the normal posture which is giving a proper communication to the brain and the spinal cord. Therefore you are not getting any type of pain in future and same thing is happening with the insomnia.

In this modern culture what is happening whatever the coordination between their spine and spinal cord and brain is going disturbed and you re not getting properly relaxation of the body during sleep so you are getting insomnia. We are making your spine your brain coordinated so you get relieve with insomnia you don t have to take any medicine and all what is happening actual with or migraine whatever the nerves whatever the spinal cord part of the brain part these things are going to swing either left or right forward and backward. So whatever the circulation whatever the nerve conduction of the brain with your body is not proper so you are not getting the proper treatment for this.

So first purpose to this cranial therapy and all we have to make that your head you spine to be align so you can get proper headache and migraine treatment. So we have to train your muscle myself we have to train your muscle. We have to train your bone alignment. We have to do every alignment from top to bottom we have to correct your knee correct your for foot we have to correct your pelvic correct your pelvis correct your shoulder.

Many people have seen a lot of the tilting of the shoulder they are doing here in there during the sitting job just because they not have proper core muscle and strength, they re not have proper strength of the body so that why the thing is started from here. Only we are not considering we are there no medicine is going to consider only this part so we are going to treat this part you can get and get to live with diabetes, thyroidism, insomnia, depression, migraine, headache and all.

Regarding any further query you can call us on the Lybrate.
Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice