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Thursday, 1 August 2013

What causes me to have a headache and how do I treat it?

Before any other surprises occur in one's day, there really isn't anything worse than having to sublimate a headache which occurs as soon as you wake up. What is this really about? Why does it occur before you even get some caffeine down you? This can all depend on many factors. In this article, combating the frequency of headaches will be focused upon, as well as exploring the different types of headaches that you are possibly suffering with.




Types

There are over 150 diagnostic headache categories have been established. Here are five common types of headaches, sorted into the treatable and non-treatable:

Treatable 

  • Tension headaches are common, with a constant ache or pressure around the head, mainly within the temples and rear of the head. These can be alleviated through Tylenol and other over the counter medications if need be. However, they usually subside on their own with time.
  • Sinus headaches. Inflamed sinus's cause pain, but this can be treated through antibiotics, antihistamines or decongestants.
  • Rebound headaches. Too much medication causes excitement which makes someone prone to headaches and withdrawing off medication too quick causes similar problems.

 Non-treatable 

  • Migraines. These occur after five headaches and last between 4-72 hours. The pain can vary and cause nausea and light sensitivity.
  • Cluster headaches cause a severe pain on one side of the head and cause watery eye and nasal congestion. Restlessness and uncomfortable, there is no cure.

Frequency

This is in regards to how often you get the headache symptoms. Any headache can be regular or irregular. You may suffer with them a lot, or you may find that you get one now and again. Either way, they aren't the best wake up call in the morning. It's more than likely that the headache is something to do with hiccups in other areas of life.

Irregular

Those that come and go are much more user-friendly, they know when to pack-up and go! However, these can still be really intense and caused by other symptoms within your life:

Causes:

  • Emotional stress is something that comes and goes in many lives and the tension headache can be caused by this within the frontal, temporal or occipital areas. 
  • Too much caffeine. These lead to chronic headaches, however, for the most part these definitely mess you up temporarily too. This can occur especially if you have taken more than what your body is used to. 
  • Nasal stuffiness - thick mucus causes the nose to be congested when the tissue is swollen. Inflamed blood vessels are swollen. This is very uncomfortable and can disrupt sleep. This affects sinus's and can be treated in the same way as
  • Headaches that happen after a fall, or any that have become painful along with any symptoms like fever or double vision should be considered as an emergency situation and a doctor should be contacted immediately.

Cures:

Some less extreme cures for headaches that don't reoccur are as follows:
  • Run to a darkened room and place a damp washcloth on the forehead. Escape any stressful thoughts and let your mind go blank as you focus on anything but the headache you are experiencing. Focusing on the silence and any positive thoughts will prevent you stressing or worrying.
  • Get rid of caffeine. It it is recommended that you do this slowly as there is a good chance that a dietary change will cause another headache for yourself. This is especially true if you are a regular sufferer.
  • Drink medium temperature water, seeing as thirst may be one of the reasons your head is banging the way it is. Especially if you have just got up, you have spent a whole night without any hydration, worsened by the fact you had been drinking the night before. Well, most likely have anyway.
  • Massage yourself or get a massage from someone else. There is a great way to get rid of a headache by pressing two fingers on both hands firmly into the space behind your ears and jaw, working your way to the base of the skull. You must press firmly without squeezing in 1-2 second increments. Working your way down, repeat where necessary. This is likely to quell the pain of your headache.
Still getting headaches? Make sure to book in an appointment with your doctor if there is no way of relinquishing the paint that may be a sign of a chronic problem. These headaches are discussed in the next section of this article.

Regular

These headaches are the biggest pain! Those that just don't know how to go away, here are some possible causes:

Causes

  • High blood pressure.When blood pressure is high, there is an increase in the force the blood exerts on the walls of the arteries and this can cause your headaches in the morning. Therefore, if you get hypertension at night, this means that you have high blood pressure, even at rest. These are characterised by throbbing and causes nervous tension.
  • Stress and physical exertion can cause blood pressure to increase. As just discovered, this has a big impact on other areas of the sleep pattern.
  • Snoring causes disruptions in sleep patterns and leaves your mind boggled the next day, without any of the rest it deserved the night before. It tends to occur more in obese middle-aged men (Joo et al., 2006), but not them alone!
  • Sleep apnea. This is one that can cause loud snoring, hypertension and daytime sleepiness.
  • Obesity. Not only the weight itself, but stresses in the form of social anxiety will worsen the headache condition. This leads to stress and depression, which will cause the headache to occur many mornings.

Cures

Headaches can be caused by many different reasons and so, this causes the treatments to vary immensely: 
  • To treat possible low blood pressure to prevent headaches, find out this is an issue for you for definite with a home blood pressure monitor. Alternatively, visit the GP and ask for an ECT. Stopping the effects of low blood pressure could be as simple as eating more salt in your diet.
  • Exercise! The endorphines released during this activity help alleviate any pain and reduces muscle tension, stress and tiredness. Those who have low physical activity are more likely to have increasing headache frequency (Varkey et al., 2008). However, lower yourself into a new exercise regime to avoid any other kind of discomfort. 
  • Snoring can be abolished through exercise, along with sleep apnea. This goes hand in hand with losing weight to reduce fatty tissue in the back of the throat and abolishing smoking gradually, too. Read up on snore guards and/or see a ENT (ear nose and throat) doctor if the problem persists.
  • Drugs often come with a lot of side effects, especially the cheaper ones. Statins are meant to lower cholesterol, but for some people the side-effects could be great. Sometimes this cannot be helped. However, for those that take unnecessary pills or don't follow the dosage correctly, now is the time to change! Check the side-effects on anything before you take them.
  • Lose weight. This can be done through exercise and eating a healthy balanced diet. Cut down on refined sugars and starchy foods. Increase vegetable and fruit intake and have your digestion and energy levels improve immensely.
Still getting loads of headaches? Ask if you can get an MRI scan at your GP to see what really is causing this. This will provide a whole scan of the brain to help find causes of your headaches, if it is to do with the biochemistry of the brain.

Conclusion

Though there may be no definitive answer in regards to how you are getting bad intense headaches or throbbing ones that make you feel like you are hitting your head on a brick wall, there is hope in finding out what is causing such an annoying problem for you. Hopefully it is something that can be fixed in the morning or during lunch and not something that needs mending anywhere near the medula obligada!

References

Joo, S., Lee, S., Choi, H. A., Kim, J., Kim, E., Kimm, K., ... & Shin, C. (2006). Habitual snoring is associated with elevated hemoglobin A1c levels in non‐obese middle‐aged adults. Journal of sleep research, 15(4), 437-444.
Varkey, E., Hagen, K., Zwart, J. A., & Linde, M. (2008). Physical activity and headache: results from the Nord‐Tr√łndelag Health Study (HUNT). Cephalalgia, 28(12), 1292-1297.

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