You might have experienced severe headaches that made you feel that the inner walls of your head are being hammered at various points. Read below to know the five different types of headaches, and identify which one of these you have:
1. Tension Headache
If you are having the feeling of a tight band around your head, accompanied by mild to moderate pain, you might be having tension headache that is generally caused due to overstress and pressure load. This is the most common type of headache that affects women. Simple modifications in lifestyle and food habits help greatly. Reduce chocolate, caffeine, aerated drinks, and add more spinach, nuts, oats, etc. to your diet. See to it that you sleep well, at least for eight hours, and that too at regular timings each day. Eat properly at small intervals, and never remain hungry. Find time to do cardio and meditation (yoga is a great choice for stress relief) – you will find the headache gone.
If your headache lasts somewhere between four and 72 hours, and is accompanied by nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, sensitivity to light and sounds, distortion of virtual images, etc., it could be a migraine. These pulsating headaches increase with physical activity. Environmental factors, genetics, or a mixture of both can trigger migraines. Studies point out that at least 15 percent of the population is affected by these. Simple pain relief treatments like paracetamol and mild analgesics are normally used. However, triptans/ergotamines may also be recommended for those who don’t benefit much from the milder ones. In any case, it is always better to consult a good neurologist.
3. Cluster Headaches
Do you have headaches repeatedly twice or thrice in a single day over a few weeks? Do you get these headaches every year in the same season as well? They could be cluster headaches that are more intense but last for a lesser duration than migraines. Such headaches may awaken you in the middle of the night, just two hours after you have been to bed, and can be really bad. They affect one in 1,000 people, more commonly men. It occurs when the trigeminal-autonomic reflex pathway in your brain is activated, causing eye pain, redness of eyes, nasal congestions, and discharge. It is best to consult a neurologist in this case.
4. Sinus Headaches
Do your cheekbones, bridge of the nose, and forehead equally trouble you in any episode of headache? If yes, it is a sinus headache. There are air-filled cavities in these areas (sinuses) that, due to allergy, infection, or tumor, may get inflamed and block the channels with mucus. The symptoms are persistent nasal blockage, ear pain, and even swelling of the face. CTs and MRIs help diagnose the problem. It is often treated with a dose of antibiotics, antihistamines, and decongestants. Corticosteroids are also recommended in some cases to reduce the infection. Regular steam inhalation helps to a great extent.
5. Rebound Headaches
Most of us resort to OTC (over-the-counter) drugs like Tylenol (acetaminophen), Motrin (Ibuprofen), aspirin, or other caffeine-rich pain relievers, either because we think we are better judges of our body than the doctor, or because we choose not to spend money on detailed checkups. An overdose of these pain relievers will send a reverse message to your brain, thus activating your headache all the more.
Don’t ignore your headache. It’s your body’s way of telling you that you need medical attention. Do practice healthy habits and live a stress-free life to keep that nagging headache away.
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