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For Those Who Suffer From Headaches

Oct 10, 2007
While it's true that all types of headaches may cause us some type of discomfort, not all are alike as the pain may range from the mild to the excruciating. There are several types of headaches, some caused by underlying medical conditions, while others are due to stress or environmental causes.

There are quite a few different reasons for a headache to occur. Basically, anything that causes the pain receptors in the neck and head area to be stimulated will cause the sensation of a headache.

Some of the most common causes of headaches include:

- Straining the eyes.
- Neck or head injuries.
- Dental problems.
- Muscle tension.
- High blood pressure.
- Sinus disorders.
- Certain medications.

There are several different types of headaches, all of which can be grouped into two major categories; primary or secondary. Primary headache disorders include migraines, tension, cluster, and the ordinary, average headache that most of us have experienced at one time or another.

Primary headaches may include:

Migraines: Affecting women nearly three times more often than men, migraines are believed to be caused in part by the hormone estrogen and may be more intense near menstruation. There are numerous symptoms of a migraine headache, some more severe than others, that may include mood changes, a stiff neck, loss of appetite or nausea, fatigue, and sensitivity to light and sound.

Tension Headaches: Tension headaches, unlike migraines, do not cause sensitivity to light or severe symptoms such as nausea or vomiting, but they are one of the most common types of headaches. Described as a squeezing sensation or a band of pressure around the head, tension headaches can be linked to stress and will affect about two out of every three people at least once during their lifetime.

Cluster Headaches: Cluster headaches are a relatively rare, but very painful type of headache that is far more common in males than females. Generally affecting one side of the head, cluster headaches cause a sharp, piercing pain that usually originates behind the eye causing nasal congestion or even symptoms such as nausea or sensitivity to light.

Secondary headaches are triggered by some other cause such as an injury, infection, tumor, allergies, or following surgery. Secondary headaches may include:

Chronic Headaches: Chronic headaches are diagnosed by the length of their duration, usually 15 or more days per month for three consecutive months, and are most often caused by stress and tension, or from certain medications.

Sinus Headaches: Sinus headaches are characterized by a dull, aching pain that's usually in the front of the face or forehead that may last for days or weeks a time.

Sinister Headaches: The name 'sinister headache' is given to the type of headache that is associated with a serious condition such as a brain tumor, meningitis, or an aneurysm.

Treatment for headaches largely depend on the type of headache and its cause. Some of the methods used for controlling the pain and discomfort caused by headaches include:

- Over-the-counter medication such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.

- Prescription medication.

- Stress management and relaxation techniques.

- Dietary changes.

- Alternative therapies such as acupuncture, aromatherapy, or chiropractics.

- Treatment for the primary cause of the headache if it is secondary in nature.
About the Author
Alex Olson wrote a number of highly popular articles which concern health problems. In them she pays much attention on headaches, their types, causes and treatment .
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