Headache; It is one of the most common medical complaints, most people will suffer from it at some point in their lives, and it can affect anyone regardless of their age and gender, as It is a big problem to us, and we will learn about it in this article.
What is a headache?
It is defined as a pain that can occur in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or on one side only. It may be a sign of stress or emotional distress, or it may result from a medical disorder, such as: migraines, high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression.
Headache types and symptoms
They are generally divided into two main groups: Primary Headaches and Secondary Headaches. In the following, we will get acquainted with information about both types, with identification of the sub-species that fall from each type.
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It is a disease in itself, as it is caused by overactivity or problems in the structures of the head that are sensitive to pain, and this includes blood vessels, muscles, nerves of the head and neck, and may also result from changes in chemical activity in the brain. As for Headache types, it includes:
It usually starts slowly and gradually increases in the middle of the day, and often lasts between 30 minutes to several hours only, and the person can feel any of the following:
- Pressure around the head and behind the eyes.
- Pain spreading from the forehead to the neck.
- Sensitivity to sound and light.
It can be either Episodic or chronic. Episodic attacks are usually a few hours long, but they can last for several days. Chronic occur on 15 or more days per month for at least 3 months.
It is the most common type of primary one, it can have a significant impact on the life of the person affected, and may last from a few hours to 3 days.
It may cause a throbbing pain, usually only on one side of the head, and the pain may be accompanied by:
- Blurred vision.
- Sensory disturbances.
- Muscle weakness.
- Difficulty speaking.
- Numbness in the extremities.
Its causes are unknown, but there are many triggers for seizures such as: noise, bright lights, hormonal changes, some types of foods or medications, sleep disorders, stress and anxiety.
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It usually lasts between 15 minutes to 3 hours, and occur suddenly once a day up to eight times a day and for a period that may range from weeks to months.
The resulting pain can be described as:
- A pain that occurs on one side. It is described as severe.
- A pulling that is often sharp or burning.
- The pain is in or around one eye.
It is rare type, also called alarm headaches. Because it awakens the patient from sleep during the night, the patient may experience several seizures during the week, and its cause is unknown until now. Its symptoms are as follows:
- Mild to moderate pain in the form of throbbing on both sides of the head.
- Sensitivity to light.
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It is a symptom that occurs when another condition stimulates the nerves sensitive to pain in the head, that is, in other words, its symptoms can be attributed to another cause and various factors can cause it, which are the following:
- Brain tumor.
- Blood clots.
- Bleeding in or around the brain.
- Brain freezing.
- Carbon monoxide poisoning.
- Teeth grinding at night. Flu.
- Overuse of pain medication.
- Panic attacks.
There are different types of it, and they include the following:
It is caused by rebound, medication overuse, or excessive use of medication to treat symptoms.
It is the most common cause of secondary one, usually starting early in the day and lasting throughout the day. It may improve with palliative therapy, but worsen when its effects wear off, and can cause:
- Neck pain.
- Nasal congestion.
- Decreased sleep quality.
It is a sudden, reaching maximum intensity in less than 1 minute, lasting longer than 5 minutes, and often be secondary in life-threatening conditions, such as: intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, and aneurysm, meningitis, and stroke.
People who experience these sudden and severe headaches should seek medical evaluation immediately.
It results as one of the symptoms associated with sinusitis, which is swelling caused by a bacterial infection or allergy inside the sinuses.
Symptoms of a sinus headache include:
- Dull pain around the eyes, cheeks, and forehead, which worsens with sudden movement and stress.
- Thick yellow or green discharge.
- Sensitivity to sound and light.
It results from excessive caffeine consumption, at an average of more than 400 milligrams or 4 cups of coffee, or after a sudden cessation of consuming large amounts of coffee for more than two weeks. Withdrawal symptoms include the following:
- Loss of focus.
- Mood swings.
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A doctor is usually able to diagnose the type of it by describing the condition, the type of pain, and the timing and pattern of attacks.
If their nature seems complex, tests may be done to rule out more serious causes. Additional tests may include:
- Blood tests.
- Brain scans, such as: computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MR).
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The most common way in treatment is rest, and over-the-counter medications can also be taken. Doctors can prescribe some preventive medications for some types , such as: tricyclic antidepressants, serotonin receptor agonists, anti-epileptic drugs, and beta-blockers.
It is important to follow your doctor’s advice. Because overusing pain relievers can lead to rebound headaches. Treatment of rebound one involves reducing or discontinuing pain relief medication, and in extreme cases a short hospital stay may be required in order to safely and effectively manage withdrawal.
In the end, we learned about headaches, its types, and the 4 most important causes of this problem. But it can be a symptom of a serious condition, so it is important to seek medical advice if symptoms become more severe, regular or persistent.