Headaches are a common ailment suffered by many people today. In fact, nearly ninety six percent of the population at some stage in their life will suffer from headache pain. The term "headache" refers to any pain or physical aching experienced around the head, forehead, neck, face or mouth. They can be caused by many different factors including stress, tightness in the muscles, or a variety of other triggers. Fortunately, the majority of headaches are not severe and can be treated with lifestyle changes and if necessary, prescribed medication.

The Different Types of Headaches

Healthcare professionals categorize headaches into two types: primary headaches and secondary headaches. Primary headaches occur when there is no pre-existing condition or cause. Their types include tension headaches, cluster headaches and the extremely common migraine headache. Secondary headaches, on the other hand, are headaches affected by pre-existing conditions such as high blood pressure, brain tumors and strokes.

What Causes Headaches

There are numerous areas on the body that are pain sensitive and therefore, more likely to cause a headache. Pain susceptible areas including the skin, sinuses and muscles can suffer from inflammation and spasms, which subsequently trigger a headache. In addition, high blood pressure, strokes and any injuries to the head and neck will cause a headache.

Headache Symptoms

Typically, headache symptoms are experienced as an aching sensation in the head. The type of head pain and its intensity will vary dramatically depending on what has triggered the headache in the first place. Other common types of headache symptoms may include sensitivity to loud noises and bright light, feeling nauseous, or even losing consciousness. Thankfully, the majority of the time headaches are not the result of anything serious. However, you should contact your health professional if your headache remains for an extended period, if you experience blurry vision or if you also suffer from vomiting.

How Is a Headache Diagnosed

A doctor will ask you numerous questions about your symptoms and pre-existing health condition to diagnose your headache. In addition, they will give you a thorough physical and possibly a neurological examination. Your current physical health combined with your health history usually will rule out any serious conditions that may cause your headaches. Occasionally, there may be a need for a MRI body scan or CT scan to diagnose the actual cause.

Headache Relief

Regrettably, there is no broad headache remedy that will work for the majority of people. The most common type of headache relief is over-the-counter or prescribed medication. Headache treatment will vary according to several factors, including how severe a headache is, how often it reoccurs, as well as, underlying causes and pre-existing medical conditions the patient has. In addition, there are alternative and natural headache treatments that many people choose to relieve their headaches.

Headache Triggers

It may not surprise you that one of the most common triggers of a headache is stress. Experts have found that stress from our daily lifestyle is linked to headache sufferers. There are also scientists who advocate that particular foods containing chemicals can set off a headache. They believe that the chemicals constrict the body's arteries and result in a migraine. In addition, they state that particular foods can also trigger an allergic reaction, which also results in headaches.

Medicines Used For Headaches

Usually, over-the-counter medicine is the popular choice for headache pain relief. The type of medicine best for a headache can be based upon several factors including the severity of the headache and its cause. Whilst the counter type of medication can be satisfactory, you may need prescribed medication if the headache persists for extended periods or you have reoccurring headaches over a short period. Prescribed medication will help to alleviate the pain as soon as a headache starts or can even prevent it from occurring altogether.
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