WHAT IS A HEADACHE?
Headaches happen when the nerve endings in different parts of your head and neck become irritated. There are many different kinds of headaches that occur for a variety of reasons. Here are some of the most common:
- Tension headache
- Dull pressure or tightness on both sides of the head and sometimes the neck
- Can last anywhere from half an hour to a whole week
- Can cause fatigue in some people
- Exact cause is unknown; stress appears to be a common trigger
- Throbbing on one or both sides of the head
- Can range from moderate to severe pain
- Usually lasts four to 72 hours
- Can cause additional symptoms, like nausea, vomiting, and sensitivity to light and sounds
- Exact cause isn’t entirely understood, but environmental factors and genetics may contribute
- Triggers include stress, changes in sleep patterns, certain foods and food additives (like the sweetener aspartame), certain types of medications, and hormonal changes in women
- Cluster headaches
- Sharp, severe pain that comes on quickly, usually around or behind one eye
- Occur in frequent attacks, or “clusters,” that can go on for weeks or months
- Each attack can last 15 minutes to three hours
- Can cause additional symptoms, like tearing, runny nose, congestion and agitation
- No known causes, but an abnormal hypothalamus (part of the brain that plays a role in nervous and endocrine systems) may play a role
- No known triggers, but drinking alcohol during a cluster headache can cause an even worse headache
"Get back to living your days uninterrupted by pain."
HOW CAN I GET RELIEF FROM HEADACHE PAIN?
The first step to relieving your headache pain is trying to figure out what kind of headache you have. Consult with your doctor for a diagnosis, as some can be serious.