The pain you feel during a headache comes from a mix of signals between your brain, blood vessels, and nearby nerves. Specific nerves of the blood vessels and head muscles switch on and send pain signals to your brain. But it is not clear why these signals turn on in the first place. The pain may be a dull ache, sharp, constant, throbbing, intermittent, mild, or intense.
Usually people assume that their headaches are completely harmless and will go away with time. And while it is true that in most cases headaches are utterly benign, there are also times when headaches can signal an underlying medical condition. No one else knows what is best for your body other than yourself. So in case you experience sensations and pain similar to those listed below, your headache could mean something much more dangerous. If left untreated, these headaches can even have fatal consequences for you.
Fibromyalgia (FM) patients are at increased risk for anxiety and depression, and report more interference and disability from their pain than patients with headache without body pain. Failure to recognize and treat co-existing FM can result in increased pain, disability, anxiety, and depression. Effective therapies are also available for FM that can significantly improve headache in addition to treating the generalized body pain.
Of the various types of headaches, a migraine is by far one of the most complex there is. A person who has a migraine will characteristically feel an intense throbbing pain on just one side of the head. It is a neurological condition that is caused by an over-reactive switch in the brain stem, which can include symptoms like heightened sensitivity to light, sound, and smell. Nausea and vomiting are also common. A migraine severely disrupts an individual’s daily life as the pain only intensifies with increased activity.
Cluster headaches are characterized by extreme burning and piercing pain. They occur around or behind one eye or on one side of the face at a time. If you are experiencing headaches of such kind, along with vomiting and nausea, you could be in serious trouble and at the worse suffer a brain aneurysm.
Melatonin, corticosteroids, topiramate (Topamax), and calcium channel blockers may put your cluster headaches into a period of remission.
Tension headaches, the most common type, feel like a constant ache around the head, especially at the temples or back of the neck and head. High levels of fatigue and stress usually cause a dull pressure or tightness around the head among individuals. Though the pain is usually bearable, it is certainly not a thing you want to neglect.
OTC painkillers, like acetaminophen, ibuprofen, and aspirin are usually very effective in stopping or reducing pain.
Sinus headaches are caused by sinusitis, a swelling of the sinuses which is usually the result of an allergy or an infection. The pain associated with sinus headaches is generally located around or behind the eyes, across the cheeks and bridge of the nose, along the top teeth, or along the forehead. The pain is often described as a pressure-like sensation and is constant. Symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, including discolored nasal congestion, nasal mucus, plugged ears, swelling of the face, and a fever, may accompany sinus headache.
To diagnose the underlying cause of the sinusitis, a doctor may refer an individual to an ear, nose, and throat specialist. In some cases, surgical drainage may be required.
Women can get headaches from changing hormone levels during their periods, pregnancy, and menopause. The hormone changes from birth control pills also trigger headaches in some women. Gynecological issues also causes hormonal headaches
Headaches could be associated with anything from psychological discrepancies, medical problems, tension, stress and a host of other problems. Regardless, headaches should never be taken lightly as a common occurrence, especially if the problem is persistent.
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