A headache is pain or discomfort in the head, scalp, or neck. Headaches are of various types like tension headaches, migraine, cluster headaches and sinus headaches.
Secondary headache is associated with an underlying condition such as cerebrovascular disease, head trauma, infection, tumor, and metabolic disorder (e.g., diabetes, thyroid disease). Head pain also can result from syndromes involving the eyes, ears, neck, teeth, or sinuses. In these cases, the underlying condition must be diagnosed and treated. Also, certain types of medication produce headache as a side effect. Most of headaches are caused by tension in the muscles of the neck and scalp after periods of stress and concentration. Eyestrain rarely produces headache (contrary to popular belief) and if it does it usually arises from astigmatism. Other causes range from sensitivity to certain foods like cheese, wines, changes in weather and altitudes, hormonal fluctuations, emotions, certain medicines (the oral contraceptive pill may also cause headaches, esp. during the pill-free week), smoking, alcoholism, as a forerunner of flu, after head injury, meningitis, etc.
The pain symptoms of a headache are:-
The pain begins in the back of the head and upper neck and is described as a band-like tightness or pressure.
Often is described as pressure encircling the head with the most intense pressure over the eyebrows.
The pain usually is mild (not disabling) and bilateral (affecting both sides of the head).
The pain is not associated with an aura (see below), nausea, vomiting, or sensitivity to light and sound.
The pain occurs sporadically (infrequently and without a pattern) but can occur frequently and even daily in some people.
The pain allows most people to function normally, despite the headache.
Migraines are usually severe throbbing and involve one side of the head of sudden onset accompanied with vomiting, blurring of vision.
Dull steady ache as of a band around head in tension headaches.
Throbbing pain with nasal congestion as in sinus headaches.
A sudden, severe headache like a blow may indicate internal bleeding somewhere underneath the brain. Meningitis produces severe headache aggravated from light and accompanied by stiff neck.
1. Avoid cheese, wine, nuts, chocolate, alcohol, coffee in migraine.
2. A nutritious diet with multivitamins keeps you fit. Avoid self medication. Aspirins and paracetamols are only of limited value on tension headaches.
3. Stay away from noise light, TV, crowd when you get first sign of headache.
4. Lie in a dark room with cold compresses till you feel better.
5. Massage to scalp relieves tension headache. Do not tax your intellectual faculties nor your eyes during headache.
6. You relieve tension in the muscles of the body by progressive muscular relaxation, in which all muscles are tensed first and then consciously relaxed in turn starting from toes upwards.
7. Get your blood pressure checked if dull headaches persist for long.