| Thursday, October 27, 2005
| THE MOST COMMON TYPES OF HEADACHES AND WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THEM
Migraines are vacular headaches related to changes in the size of the arteries within and outside the brain. The exact causes of migraines are not yet known, but experts know they are related to changes in the brain and genetic causes. The new way of thinking is that migraines are caused by inherited abnormalities in certain areas of the brain. Many people with migraines have inherited sensitivity to certain migraine triggers, including fatigue, bright lights, and weather changes.
Here are some of the various characteristics of Migraine Headaches:
* Often, but not always, the pain is on one side of the head. It can be felt in the whole head, or it can shift from one side of the head to the other.
* Often it is a pounding, throbbing pain.
* Migraine headaches are often accompanied by associated characteristics, such as nausea, loss of appetite, abdominal pain, sensitivity to bright light or loud noise, dizziness, or mood changes.
* About one-fifth of migraine headaches are preceded by neurological symptoms that last a few minutes to an hour before the pain of the headache beins. These symptoms include blurred vision, sparkling lights, and numbness in the hands or face.
* Sometime they include an "aura" with visual symptoms such as bright flashing dots or lights, blind spots, or wavy or jagged lines.
* They can last fomr four hours to three days.
* They usually occur one to four times a month.
Tension-type headaches (muscle contraction headaches) are the most common type of headaches among adults and teens. About 30 percent to 80 percent of American adults suffer from occasional tension-type headaches, with the majority being women. About 3 percent of American adults suffer from chronic daily tension-type headaches.
Here are some of the various characteristic of tension-type headaches:
* Pain ismild to moderate, with constant band-like pain.
* Pain is felt in the front, top, or sides of the head.
* Pain usually begins gradually, often occuring in the middle of the day.
* Headache pain can last from 30 minutes to several days.
* People with episodic tension-type headaches often have them no more than once or twice a month but sometimes they are more frequent than this.
* Sudden onset occurs when you wake up in the morning.
* Chronic fatigue, irritability, and disturbed concenttation.
* Mild sensitivity to light or noise.
* General aching of the muscles.
Common causes of this type of headaches include:
* Emotional or mental stress.
* Having problems at home or a difficult family life.
* Deadlines at school or work.
* Having a new child.
* Going on vacation (believe it or not, this can be stressful for some people).
* Starting a new job or losing a job.
* Competing in sports or other activities.
* Being a perfectionist.
* Not getting enough sleep.
* Being overscheduled or having too many demands placed on you.
* Being overweight.
* Alcohol use.
* Skipping meals.
* Changes in sleep patterns and not getting enough rest.
* Excessive medication use.
* Eyestrain and neck or back strain due to poor postures.
Symptoms can begin within 20 to 25 minutes after eating products that contain additives. Some reports state that headaches brought on by foods containing MSG can occur within an hour of eating.
Look for symptoms such as :
* Pressure in teh chest.
* Tightening and pressure in the face.
* Burning sensation in the chest, neck, or shoulders.
* Facial flushing.
* Headaches pain across the front or sides of the head. (unlike more classic migraines, headaches brought on by additives are usually sensed on both sides of the head).
* Abdominal discomfort.
(Sinuses are air-filled spaces located in your forehead, cheekbones, and behind the bridge of your nose.The sinuses produces thin muscus that draws out the channels of the nose.)
Some neurologists believe that when people think they are having sinus headaches, they are actually having migraines. Sinus headaches almost never recur, so if you notice that your sinus headaches seem to be recurring, that's you first clue that you may be having migraines instead. But diagnosing one or the other can getrather confusing because people with migraines seem to see an increase in headaches depending on humidity and other environmental conditions.
Sinus headaches are generally associated with deep and constant pain in the cheeckbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose. The pain usually intensifies with sudden head movement. Sinus headaches are usually accompanied by other sinus symptoms, including nasal discahrge, a feeling in fullness in the ears, fever, or facial swelling.
When sinuses becom inflames, usually because of an allergic reaction, a tumor, or an infection, the inflamation will prevent the outflow of mucus. This causes a pain similar to that of a headache.
Here are some of the various characteristics of Sinus Headaches:
* Pain in deep and constant, and is located around the cheekbones, forehead or bridge of the nose.
* The pain usually intensifies when you move your head suddenly or strain yourself.
* Sinus headaches usually occur with other sinus symptoms, such as nasal discharge, a feeling of fullness in the ears, fever, and facial swelling.
How are Sinus Headaches Treated?
Treatment is generally focused on treating the infection in the sinuses using an antibiotic. Antihistamines such as Benadryl or decongestants such as Sudafed may also be used for a short period of time to help with the symptoms. Decongestants are often used to relieve headaches associated with sinus infections because they work by constrictiong blood vessles that cause headache pain. However, decongestants should only be used as directed, as they can be habit-forming.
What's the Relationship Between Allergies and Headaches?
Allergies don't cause headaches per se, but the allergies cause sinus confestion, and the congestion cana lead to headache pain. Keep in mind that treating your allergies will generally not relieve your headache pain; the two must be treated individually.
Rebound headaches are caused by the overuse or misuse of over-the-counter pain relievers or not following your doctor's advise regarding dosage. You literally "rebound" into headache after headache. What ends up happening is that when the pain medication wears off, you may experience a withdrawal reaction, whcih ten prompts headache and the urge to take even more medication. Eventuallyu, many people starts suffering from chronic daily headaches, more severe pain, and more frequent headaches than ever before.
The overuse of pain reliegers seems to interfere with the brain centers that regulate the flow of pain messages to the nerves, worsening headache pain.
Caffeine Only Makes It Worse.
This rebound reaction is especially problematic when using medication containing caffeine (caffeine is added to speed up the reaction of the other ingredients). The caffeine in the medications, plus the caffeine so many of you consume daily in beverages such as coffee, te, and soft dirnks, makes you even more vulnerable to developing rebound headaches.
Pain-Relief Medication May Be the Cause.
Commonly used pain-relief medications that can cause rebound headaches when taken in large enough amounts include:
* Sinus-relief medications.
* Acetaminophen (Tylenol).
* Nonsteroidal anti-inlamatory medicatons (Aleve).
* Codeine and prescription narcotics.
* Over the counter headaches remedies that contain caffeine (Anacin, Excedrin and Bayer Select).
* Ergotamine preparations (Cafergot, Migergot, Ergomar, Bellergal-S, Bel-Phen-Ergot S, Phenerbel-S, Ercaf, Wigraines, and Cafatine PB).
* Butalbital combination pain relievers (Goody's Headache Powder, Supac, and Excedrin).
(Source:"Tell Me What To Eat if I have Headaches and Migraines" by:Elaine Magee, M.P.H., R.D.)
|posted by infraternam meam @ 11:01 AM