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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

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!

1911 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!

2699 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!

2780 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

Headache & Facial Pain - How To Deal With It?

MBBS, MD, M.N.A.M.S(Anaesthesiology), FWACS
Pain Management Specialist, Delhi
Headache & Facial Pain - How To Deal With It?

Nagging headaches or facial pain is a common issue faced by many. They can be mild or severe that and can disrupt your routine to a significant extent. If you are experiencing a disturbed vision, an upset stomach, feeling nauseous or vomiting along with the pain, you must consult your physician to identify the cause and avail proper treatment. 

What are the factors that cause the issue?
Several underlying problems can be the reason for a facial pain including oral infections, a toothache, facial injuries, a skin abscess, nerve disorder or even an open sore. Sometimes constantly annoying headaches or sinusitis may also lead to facial pain. And some of the more commons issues that result in a headache are tension, anxiety, excessive stress, sleeplessness, migraines and sinus problems. A headache can also occur due to more severe causes such as tumor or cancer in the brain, neck issues, abnormalities of any kind in the blood vessels and muscles of the brain, etc.

When to seek medical help?
The symptoms of facial pain may vary depending on the factor that's triggering the pain. From swelling to open sores, redness, rashes on the skin, etc. are often associated with facial pain symptoms. People usually describe the facial pain to be an achy feeling or stabbing or cramp-like sensation on the different facial parts.

Headaches usually occur alone. However, some of its associated symptoms are blurry vision, difficulty in walking straight, confusion, trouble in speaking correctly, excessive sleepiness, neck pain, and neck stiffness. Sometimes, developing increased sensitivity to noise or light is also a symptom of headaches. Headaches can be mild to moderate to very excruciating. When the pain in the head becomes severe, it leads to vomiting and nausea.

What are the pain management strategies for this issue?
When it comes to headaches and facial pain management, the treatment options also vary depending on the causes of such pain. From stress reduction to, pain managing medications, elimination of particular foods from one's daily diet and biofeedback training are some of the most common ways of pain management. Regular exercise can also help in dealing with pain in some cases. However, if the cause of a face pain or headaches lies in some severe health diseases, prompt medical attention may be required for treating them first.

Remember, the moment you think that your quality of life is in some way impacted by head pain and facial pain, don't hesitate to look for medical assistance. Because, until unless, you do not consider undertaking proper methods of pain management suggested by a doctor, getting back to a healthy pain-free life and concentrating on your daily works may be impossible.

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

4210 people found this helpful

Popular Questions & Answers

Hello. Im having headache from past four days straight. I also have a history maxillary sinusitis. I take anti depressants as those are consulted by my doctor back home. I study outside now so that is why do not have my contact with doctor. About my headache, im also feeling this pain in my ears. I take the paracetamol daily but still I feel nothing positive at all. What are the things I need to take into consideration as soon as I would have to?

MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MS - ENT
ENT Specialist, Trivandrum
Hi, Do you have headache on both sides of the head. And if you don't have any nasal symptoms need to start on other medications. Rather than taking paracetamol daily. For acute pain you can take it. But if you don't have any nasal symptoms you have to consult a local ENT specialist or make an online consult.

I am suffering from male pattern hair loss I have visited. Dermatologist he has given me tugain 10 %and finalo 1 mg but I am suffering from headache after taking this medicine I have heard that there is side effect of finalo 1 mg is it true that it decrease libido.

BHMS, Diploma in Dermatology
Homeopath, Hyderabad
Heat some oil (preferably coconut oil or almond oil) and slowly massage your scalp using your fingertips. It increases flow of the blood to the hair follicles, enhances the strength of the roots of your hair and conditions your scalp.

I am not able to open my right eye as it is swelled from top and I can feel burning sensation and headache slightly. I showed it to rmp in village he said insect bite and got 1 shot of injection and some tablets. Help me out with some medication.

Ophthalmologist, Raipur
I think that it may be due to some inflammation either allergic or infection. please use clavam 625 mg by for 3 day and levoctrizine once daily. If no improvement show to some specialist.
1 person found this helpful

Hi, I do not know is am I suffering from testicular Cancer please tell me how it identify my disease because some day my left side head got headache and some pain in low back but my testis doesn't have any pain or swelling.

DM Neurology
Neurologist, Jaipur
To diagnose testicular cancer you should meet Oncologist he would perform few investigations including tumour Markers such as AFP level and other tests. Its difficult to say about the diagnosis without proper examinations and MRI head may be required to diagnose why you suffered these symptoms. So be relaxed first and meet a good oncologist.

Table of Content

What is Headache?

Types of Headaches :

Play video
Headache Disorder - Migraines
Migraine usually affects only one side of the head at a time. It destroys day to day schedule of patients. Headache can be unilateral or bilateral. There are common symptoms like nausea,loss of appetite and so on. Diagnosis can be ruled out majorly through signs and symptoms. There are various ayurvedic ways to treat Migraine.
Play video
Headache
A headache is a very common condition that causes pain and discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck.Primary causes of headaches are causes that aren t related to separate medical conditions. These headaches are the result of an underlying process in the brain.
Play video
How To Deal With Headache?
Hello!

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.
Play video
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