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Headache

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Headaches are experienced by nearly everyone. They can range from a mild discomfort to a severe and pounding debilitating pain in the head. Most headaches are harmless and don’t represent anything out of the ordinary, although about 4-5% of adults experience daily headaches which may represent illness or disease, or simply may have progressed from frequent tension or migraine headaches.

Most headaches require no form of medical treatment other than an over the counter pain reliever or a thorough muscular massage. However, when a headache interferes regularly with the quality of a patient’s life, then medical treatment and evaluation becomes necessary. Daily headaches, or chronic headaches, should be evaluated by a physician even if they are not severe. Headaches should not happen with such frequency.

HEADACHE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS

Pain in the back of the head that surrounds both sides of the head which can be described as a dull ache or a tight band of pressure around the skull is known as a tension headache. These may occur frequently, infrequently, or incessantly. Tension headaches, as the name suggests, are brought on by stress.

Steady intense pain on either one or both sides of the head that may involve the face and neck, as well as sensitivity to light and sound and nausea with or without vomiting is known as a migraine headache. These can happen at any frequency, including daily.
Headache
Image: Headache


A steady headache that occurs on only one side of the head that may vary in intensity but never completely dissipates is a rare condition known as a hemicrania continua, meaning the headache will start and persist with varying degrees.

HEADACHE CAUSES

Headaches may be caused by a variety of factors. Some headaches are caused by the overuse of medication, stimulation of the central nervous system from injury, illness, or trauma, injury or painful stimulation of the upper spine, inflammation of the arteries, inflammation of the blood vessels, infection, and problems with dental structure or painful decay of the teeth, sleep disorders, or abnormal formation of tissue. Headaches that disappear with medication, especially those containing caffeine, only to return with a greater intensity are known as rebound headaches.

HEADACHE RISK FACTOR

Risk factors for headaches, whether occasional or chronic, include a high level of anxiety, depression, obesity, snoring, sleep disturbances, overuse of caffeine, and abuse of medication.

HEADACHE DIAGNOSIS

Diagnosing headaches is not difficult, it is simply based on patient complaints. However, discovering the cause of headaches can be a little more difficult. The physician should assess the patient’s frequency of headaches, what type of pain relievers have been used, the dosage, and when the headaches return. Imaging studies can often help diagnose problems that are brought on by abnormalities in the brain. Signs of illness, neurological problems, and infection should be ruled out before determining headaches are brought on by stress, caffeine, or other controllable factors.

HEADACHE COMPLICATIONS

Complications from headaches, especially chronic headaches, are likely to include difficulty functioning and participating in life and life’s expectations. The medications patients use to treat headaches are likely to cause more complications than the headaches themselves. These medications can cause stomach ulcers, intestinal problems, and even internal bleeding when taken too often.

HEADACHE TREATMENT

If an underlying medical cause for the headaches are not found, the focus of treatment changes to stopping headaches before they start if they warrant medical attention. Medications can affect headaches without serious side effects such as sleepiness or heart rhythm complications like some pain medications can.

Tricyclic antidepressants can be prescribed in low doses to receive the pain relieving effects without being affected by the antidepressant. Beta blockers, NSAID pain relievers, muscle relaxants, and low dose anti seizure medications can help with the pain, as can injections known as nerve blocks.

Coping with constant headache is a life affecting ordeal that can be treated, often effectively, with the right physician and the right treatment plan. Patients who have two or more headaches per week should seek medical advice.
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Medication commonly used for these disease:

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