Guide to Headaches

Headaches can be a painful and inconvenient occurrence. According to the National Headache Foundation, millions of people each day suffer from headaches. However, not all headaches are created equal. Some experience minor temple and neck pain, while others experience excruciating aches. Below is a guide to different types of headaches and what you can do to relieve them.

Tension Headaches
This is one of the most common types of headache. The tension headache usually occurs because of stress, anger, physical exhaustion, anxiety or depression. These may occur randomly or become chronic over time.

Common Symptoms:

  • Tightening sensation in your temples
  • Pulling feeling and pressure in your forehead
  • Tightness or stiffening of the neck

Treatments Include:

  • Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory)
  • Long walks, which have been shown to ease tension headaches
  • A good night’s sleep, which also has been found to reduce and eliminate tension headaches

Migraine Headaches
Migraines are one of the more severe types of headaches and have been known to prevent people from attending work, disrupt personal life, and create episodes that can last several hours or even days. Migraines are caused primarily by changes to biochemical levels in the brain, such as fatigue, high stress, unhealthy sleeping habits, fasting, caffeine and menstruation. These changes cause a swelling of the arteries and disruption of regular blood flow to the brain, resulting in a migraine headache.

Common Symptoms:

  • Dull ache in the back of the head
  • Consistent throbbing pain in the temples
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sound and light

Treatments Include:

  • Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory
  • Nasal sprays (anti-inflammatory)
  • Prescription medications

Hormone Headaches
Women experience migraine headaches three times more often than men. According to the National Headache Foundation, 70% of women who experience migraines do so during menstruation. Hormonal headaches are typically caused by the female hormone estrogen. During menstruation, estrogen levels fluctuate, making women more susceptible to migraine headaches.

Common Symptoms:

  • Throbbing sensation on one side of the head
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to sound and light

 

Treatments Include:

  • Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory)
  • Nasal sprays (anti-inflammatory)
  • Prescription medications

 

Sinus Headaches Sinus headaches occur when the sinus passages become inflamed through an infection, allergic reaction or tumor. The headache occurs when sinus blockage isn’t properly drained, causing an acute pressure in the sinus cavities located in the forehead and behind the bridge of the nose.

Common Symptoms:

  • Dull pain behind the bridge of the nose
  • Tightness and aches in the forehead
  • Pressure increased above the cheekbones

Treatments Include:

  • Ibuprofen (anti-inflammatory)
  • Anti-histamine medication
  • Nasal sprays (anti-inflammatory)
  • Prescription medications for sinus headache relief

For more information or treatment for headaches, or to consult a physician near you, please contact us at the Medical Center of Plano. Visit us online or give us a call at 972-519-1467.

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