The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that almost half of all adults worldwide will experience a headache in any given year.
A headache can be a sign of stress or emotional distress. It can also result from a medical disorder. These include a migraine or high blood pressure, anxiety, or depression. It can lead to other problems. People with chronic migraine headaches, for example, may find it hard to attend work or school regularly.
There are different ways to define headaches.
The International Headache Society (IHS) categorize headaches as primary when they are not caused by another condition. The secondary ones have a further underlying cause.
Some types of headaches include:
Tension headaches are the most common form of a primary headache. Such headaches begin slowly and gradually in the middle of the day.
The person can feel:
- as if they have a tight band around the head
- a constant, dull ache on both sides
- pain spread to or from the neck
This can be mild to moderate pain or just the feeling of tightness. It can be felt anywhere in the head, neck, and shoulders. Think about it…when you’re stressed, what do you do? Right, you tense up your shoulders. This brings your shoulders closer and closer to your ears.
These are the result of inflammation in the sinus cavities. The pain from this type of a headache can be mild to severe.
The pressure from the swelling causes a headache.
You’ll feel a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or the bridge of your nose. The pain usually gets stronger when you move your head suddenly or strain. At the same time, you might have other sinus symptoms, such as:
A runny nose
The feeling of fullness in your ears
Swelling in your face
Chronic headaches are general, non-specific, and unrelated to anything in particular. They can come-and-go or they can be an almost permanent condition that becomes so familiar that you learn to put up with not feeling well. Whether pharmacological or not, treatment plans are often created on an individual basis.
Many sources recommend multimodal treatment. This is a combination of medicinal and non-medicinal remedies.
Some treatments are controversial and are still being tested for effectiveness. Suggested treatments for chronic headaches include medication, physical therapy, acupuncture, relaxation training, and biofeedback. Also, dietary alteration and behavioral therapy or psychological therapy are other possible treatments for chronic headaches.
Migraines are believed to be due to a mixture of environmental and genetic factors.
About two-thirds of cases run in families.
Changing hormone levels may also play a role, as migraines affect slightly more boys than girls before puberty and two to three times more women than men. The risk of migraines usually decreases during pregnancy. The underlying mechanisms are not fully known. They are, yet, believed to involve the nerves and blood vessels of the brain.
vision problems: seeing spots, blurred vision, not seeing complete images
Intense throbbing/stabbing pain usually on the side of the head
Home remedies for these kinds of headaches:
Stretching – Loosen the shoulders down and turn the head slowly from the right to the left, and vice versa.
Massage – Gently massage the neck and shoulder areas to relieve the stress.
Manage your stress – Organize your daily activities by planning ahead. It provides you with more leeway to relax and prevent entangling yourself in stressful situations.
Hot or cold compress – Depending on your preference, apply heat or ice to the aching muscles to ease a headache.
Aromatherapy – Use different essential oils such as lavender, chamomile, peppermint, and rosemary. They give a soothing effect in reducing all discomfiting feelings during headache bouts.
Avoid unpleasant thoughts – Focus on pleasant things to relax the mind and cut the stress that causes a headache.
Quit the smoking habit – At times, smoking triggers the worsening of headaches. Stopping the habit may also put an end to the occurrence of a tension headache.
Stop alcoholism – Most alcoholic beverages are known to trigger migraines in some people.
Limit caffeine intake – The chemicals found in coffee and tea have many side effects . These include muscle tension, anxiety and insomnia, all which can cause headache attacks.
Use a suitable pillow