Health: Headache: Causes and Treatment

by Dr Willie Ong

Everyone gets a headache from time to time. Most headaches are nothing to worry about. However, there are certain kinds of headaches that could be more serious.

A shot of a stressed and ill businesswomanImage source: theheadachespecialist

1. Harmless Causes – The hot weather and climate changes, like going in and out of air-conditioned rooms, are possible causes of headaches. Lack of sleep and stress can also produce headaches.

2. Tension Headache – These are caused by stress. If your head feels like someone put a strong rubber band around it, then it could be tension headache. Massaging the head can relieve this headache.

3. Eye-related & Sinusitis Headaches – Does your headache occur after prolonged reading? If it does, this points to an eye problem like an error of refraction, astigmatism or presbyopia. Visit your ophthalmologist or optometrist and get a pair of glasses. Pain from sinusitis is usually obvious. There’s stuffy nose and the pain is located in the sinus areas (you have 2 sinuses beside your nose and two more sinuses just above the eyebrows). Go to your doctor, preferably an ENT specialist.

4. Migraine Headaches – Migraine headaches are more troublesome and different in character. The headache has a pounding or throbbing quality. And it usually occurs on one side of the head only and often felt right behind one eye. Migraines are more painful. You feel nauseated and prefer lying down in a quiet dark room. Some people even see jagged lights and color a few minutes before the headache, which doctors refer to as an “aura.” There’s a tablet you can take to abort an attack. But you need to see a doctor beforehand, preferably a neurologist.

5. Serious Causes: Stroke – Vomiting with headache is a worrisome sign, especially if the headache is severe. It could be a stroke or something else. Something we definitely should worry about are the signs and symptoms of a stroke: (1) any sudden weakness in the arm or leg, (2) numbness of a part of the face, (3) sudden slurring of speech, (4) trouble with walking or loss of balance.

6. Brain Tumor – Lastly, some people worry that they have a brain tumor. Headache is usually mild at first and then increasing in character. See a neurologist. We can order a MRI-scan to rule out the serious causes of headaches.

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