Do You Have a Serious Headache?
A headache is one of the most common health problems. At least 99 percent of headaches are not serious. However, for the individual with a severe headache, the significance is difficult to determine. Many people simply get headaches. They may have a recurrent history of headaches throughout their lives, yet it may not be significant to their overall health.
These types of a headache may be related to muscle tension (stress), sinus problems or they may be recurrent migraines. Although they are not serious, the sufferer may disagree with you. Migraine headaches are due to spasm of the arteries within the brain. Rarely does damage to the brain occur. The symptoms of a migraine may include a pounding headache, sensitivity to light, nausea, and vomiting.
Migraine headaches are much more common in females and are associated with menstrual cycles. The actual cause of this type of headache is not fully understood. Migraine headaches usually resolve at menopause. Treatment for the symptoms is usually with medications such as Motrin, aspirin, Tylenol, or narcotics. Professional follow-up by a physician is suggested to determine the cause. Preventative prescription medications such as amitriptyline, propranolol, or verapamil are available. Acupuncture and botox are also options.
A brain stroke associated with a migraine is a serious complication but very uncommon. A stroke can produce weakness, loss of speech, dizziness, clouding of though, blurred vision or visual loss. The cause of a migraine is not fully understood. However, if it is brought on by a stroke, it can produce unilateral weakness, loss of speech, dizziness, blurred vision, unilateral visual loss, or clouding of thought. The cause of the migraines is not fully understood but usually brought on by a lack of sleep, unusual stress, bright lights or hormonal changes. The clinical findings and associated dysfunction usually resolve with time.
Headaches Due To Muscle Spasm
Muscle spasm headaches are the most common type of headaches. These headaches are usually due to a spasm of the neck muscles or the muscles used for chewing. Prolonged use or straining or muscles, as well as the imbalance of muscle use, are also distinct causes.
This headache is not life-threatening but can be very severe, recurrent, and disabling. Muscle spasm headaches are often associated with degeneration of the bony neck and upper back. This type of headache is usually seen in individuals older than 55 years of age as well as those who have a history of injury or degeneration of the spine.
Headaches Due To Stress
Stress headaches can last for days or weeks. It is alarming when a headache continues for more than a day and the pain persists. Professional help should be sought when simple pain relief medications are not successful.
CT scan of the head is the most common test ordered for prolonged and severe headaches. When the CT scan is normal, the routine treatment is with muscle relaxants and pain medication.
Stress should and can be reduced in your life. Not only for the sake of the headaches you may get, but stress is not good for your body or for your health. Try to get 7 to 8 hours of sleep nightly. You should exercise regularly and eat healthy meals. It all sounds so easy but we know it is not. You should try meditation, deep breathing, and progressive muscle relaxation. It may help and over time it will be easier and easier to go to sleep.
Medications don’t cure tension headaches. You should try to get at the cause of your headaches and alleviate the problem. You need to deal with the things in your life that cause tension headaches. It will lead you to a happier and more contented lifestyle.
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