Most people have occasional headaches, but chronic head pain can be disabling and affect your quality of life. There are many different types of headaches, and just as many causes. However, tension headaches are the most common type of headaches, while migraines are one of the most severe. Any level of pain can be distracting, but dealing with severe headaches can affect concentration, and inhibit the ability to perform simple, daily tasks.
What Symptoms You May Experience?
Tension headaches affect women more often than men. They are typically characterized by mild to moderate pain on both sides of the head. The pain may be accompanied by a pressing or tightening sensation. The skull may be tender, and the tenderness may extend to the neck and shoulders. Symptoms may also include fatigue, irritability and difficulty sleeping. If you suffer from tension headaches you may notice the pain worsens with the frequency of the headaches. Tension headaches are often caused by poor posture, muscle tension, stress, anxiety or depression. Injuries or health conditions related to the neck or spine can also result in tension headaches.
How Can I Treat My Headache?
Most people treat their headaches with over-the-counter pain relievers. However, it is important to see a doctor if you experience two or more headaches per week, or if the pain worsens. Your doctor may offer alternative therapies and preventive measures. Practicing good posture can help eliminate tension headaches. Try to reduce your stress levels by engaging in restful activities like meditation or taking a walk. Get plenty of rest and take a nap when possible. A good massage can work wonders for alleviating tension. Treat yourself to a spa day.
Migraines Different to Headaches?
Migraines are known as unilateral headaches, meaning that they primarily affect one side of the head. Migraines can last from a couple of hours to a few days, and leave a person feeling completely debilitated.
People that suffer from migraines often experience a warning known as an aura, prior to the onset of the headache. The aura consists of seeing spots, lights or other visual cues. A migraine headache usually results in pain on one side of the head, although it can occur on both sides. The pain is usually concentrated around the eye or temple area, and may be moderate to severe. The pain normally intensifies with physical activity. Pain may develop in the neck also. Migraines are characterized by a throbbing sensation, as well as sensitivity to light and sound. Migraines may also be accompanied by fever, nausea, vomiting or chills.
What Causes Migraines?
The exact cause of migraines is unknown. There are several possible factors that may play a role in the development of migraines. Researchers believe that heredity, hormonal changes and chemical imbalances may trigger migraine headaches. Food, stress and environmental factors may also be triggers.
Treatment for Migraines
There is no cure for migraines. The headaches are typically treated with pain medication. If you suffer from chronic migraines, you should see your physician to rule out any underlying physical causes. Try to relax and reduce your exposure to stressful situations as much as possible. Get adequate sleep, good exercise and engage in relaxing activities.
How Can Our Home Doctor Service Assist You?
If you are experiencing tension headache, or an episode of migraine and are unable to get to your regular GP, 1300 Dr To Me – After Hours Home Doctor can assist your medical need in the after-hours period. Our experienced and friendly home doctors can assist you with your immediate treatment needs as well as assess your symptoms for urgency.
Disclaimer:1300 Dr To Me provides free health information blogs for the community to increase awareness on health & medical topics. The information in this article is educative and does not constitute diagnosis. Please consult a doctor, or request an urgent after hours GP visit should you or your children experience allergic symptoms.