Headaches: Types, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

Any throbbing, constant, sharp or dull pain in your head, forehead or face is classified as a headache. Headaches are one of the most common pain conditions in the world resulting from signals that interact among the brain, blood vessels and surrounding nerves. During a headache, an unknown mechanism activates specific nerves that affect muscles and blood vessels. These nerves send pain signals to the brain.

What are the types of headaches?

There are more than 150 categories of headaches. Primary Headaches are those that occur independent of other medical conditions and Secondary Headaches are those that occur as symptoms of another underlying medical condition. The most common headaches are:

  • Tension Headache: It’s the most common kind of headache amongst teens and adults. They’re consistent without throbbing varying from mild to moderate pain on both sides of your head.
  • Migraines: They’re often pounding, throbbing headaches that last from 4 hours to 3 days and accompany symptoms like nausea, vomiting, sensitivity to light, noise and odours and an upset stomach. Migraines may happen 1-4 times a month.
  • Cluster Headaches: The most severe kinds of primary headaches that come in a cluster (usually in spring or fall) and cause an intense stabbing sensation, constantly throbbing behind the eye region without changing sides. They may occur 1-8 times a day for either a few weeks or months.
  • Sinus Headaches: When the open passageways behind the cheeks and forehead go through congestion or inflammation due to sinus infection, sinus headaches are caused. Its symptoms include bad taste in the mouth, consistent deep pain in one’s forehead and cheekbones, facial swelling, fever, the fullness of ears, snot and throbbing pain due to sudden movements.
  • Rebound Headaches: These headaches are the result of medication overuse or frequently taking painkillers.
  • New Daily Persistent Headaches: NDPHs hit suddenly and grow constantly without easing on both sides of our heads, unresponsive to medication.
  • Remitting Headaches: These are headaches that last for 6 months and leave for a period of time, only to come back.

 
What causes headaches?
The common causes of headaches include:

  • Sickness: These secondary headaches include infection, cold, fever, blow in the head and sometimes even a serious rudimentary problem.
  • Stress: Distress, depression, anxiety, poor posture, over-consumption of alcohol, skipping meals, and dehydration cause the majority of headaches in modern society.
  • Environment: Chemicals, perfumes, allergens, pollution, noise, lighting, and weather change are a few environmental triggers of headaches.

 
How are headaches diagnosed?
Facts that aid in diagnosis includes:

  • The time and circumstances surrounding the onset of the headache.
  • Location of the pain.
  • Duration of the pain.
  • How severe it is on a scale of 1-10.
  • Side effects
  • Whether one’s vision changed after the headache.
  • Time of the day that it occurs at
  • Whether it appears suddenly or without warning.
  • Events associated with the headache.
  • Relevant family history.

 
Treatment
One of the most crucial aspects of treating headaches is figuring out your triggers. Though medications are a go-to option for treatment, there are various other options like stress management, biofeedback and multidisciplinary approaches.

There are various treatment plans to cure headaches. Contact your doctor to get a professional opinion and chart out the perfect treatment plan for you. If you’re looking for the best doctors and surgeons, Sancheti HospitalPune is your best bet. With top neuro-specialists and doctors, you can get an accurate diagnosis. Find the underlying cause of your recurrent headaches and get some respite from them with the best treatment plans.

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