What is good for headaches? How to Get Rid of Headache?
Headache, one of the most common health problems, can be seen in people of all ages and genders. Headache, which affects approximately half of the world, is more common in women than in men. Headache may occur due to compression, contraction or displacement of many tissues and nerves, such as the head and neck muscles around the head, as well as the ear, nose and throat, arteries, veins and the bone membrane known as periosteum in medicine. This disorder, which reduces the person’s quality of life, can sometimes be severe enough to disrupt daily activities. The International Headache Society (IHS) classifies all types of headaches into 14 main groups and more than 100 subgroups. In other words, headaches cover a very wide spectrum. However, 90% of all headaches are migraine and tension headaches.
What is Headache?
Headache is one of the most common complaints that almost everyone experiences once in their life. Pain that begins in any part of the head may occur in the entire head or only in one part. Headaches are examined in two main groups: primary and secondary headaches. Primary headache, which constitutes 90% of headaches, is the type that develops in the person without any other health problem. Cluster headache, tension-type headache or migraine are examples of primary headaches. Secondary headaches are types of headaches caused by a different existing disorder.
Cerebrovascular diseases, brain tumor, meningitis, hypertension, eye diseases, nervous system disorders, presence of infection and sinusitis headaches are examples of secondary headache types. Therefore, many different factors play a role in the formation of headaches. In some cases, headache can also be seen as a symptom of stroke, encephalitis or Covid-19. Therefore, if there are symptoms such as high fever, visual impairment, confusion, fainting, speech disorder, imbalance, nausea or vomiting accompanying the headache, a neurologist should be consulted as soon as possible. If the person complains of a headache that is more severe than all the headaches he has ever experienced in his life, or if the intensity of the pain increases rather than subsides, the emergency room should be consulted without delay.
Headache is among the health problems that differ in terms of their regions and causes. The most common headache types in society are migraine, tension type and cluster headache. Headache causes also vary depending on the type of pain. The most common headache types can be listed as follows:
Migraine, one of the common causes of headaches, is a neurological health problem that causes a significant decrease in a person’s quality of life. Although there are two different types of migraine: with aura and without aura, the most common type of migraine is migraine without aura. In migraine without aura, the headache is often unilateral and throbbing. Migraine, which progresses in the form of attacks, may intensify with physical activity. During migraine attacks, which can begin in childhood, adolescence or adulthood, the person becomes sensitive to light and sound. Migraine, which is more common in those with migraine in their first-degree relatives, may also develop due to environmental factors. In other words, factors such as heat, humidity and pressure changes, southwest wind, altitude and air pollution can trigger a migraine attack.
Noise, odor, light brightness, insomnia or oversleeping can cause a person to experience a headache. In addition to all these, migraine attacks can also be caused by some foods and drinks such as chocolate and nuts. Migraine, which occurs in attacks, usually lasts between 4 and 72 hours. In migraine with aura, the most common type of aura is the appearance of bright lights and zigzag-shaped lines in the person’s vision before the headache begins. In addition to headache, migraine can also cause additional complaints such as dizziness, vomiting, blurred vision, loss of vision in a certain area, speech disorder, and numbness on one side of the body, depending on the severity of the migraine, its type, and the area where the discharge occurs.
Tension Type Headache
Tension-type headache, which is seen unilaterally in rare cases, is often felt in the whole head. The pain starts from the back of the head and spreads to the front. Tension-type headache, which affects the top of the head, causes complaints such as compression and pressure in the head. The pain, which causes a feeling of weight on the head, is usually mild. Tension-type headaches, which are common in detail-oriented people who cannot cope with stress, are also linked to fatigue.
Cluster headache, which causes very severe headache complaints, is described by patients as stabbing or boring in the head. The disorder, also known as half headache, is characterized by one-sided headache. Pain may also be felt in the eyes and temples on the side where the head hurts. It may cause headache, watery eyes and eyelid drooping. Cluster headaches, which cause nausea, cold and profuse sweating, usually occur between the ages of 20 and 50, and the pain is difficult to bear.
Cluster headache type, which is more common in men than in women, is mostly seen periodically, but can also be seen at all times of the year. Headaches usually occur every day or every other day during the autumn season. It often recurs at the same time of the day and the number of attacks can be up to 8 on some days. Cluster headaches can wake a person from their sleep.
Causes of Headache
The cause of headache varies depending on the type of headache. Primary headaches, such as migraine and cluster headache types, are genetically inherited and environmental factors can trigger the pain. In order to talk about the causes of these types of pain, which can be seen due to enlargement of the brain vessels as well as hormonal changes, the type of pain must first be determined, that is, the person must be diagnosed. In secondary headaches, the cause of the pain is a different health problem. Therefore, in order to explain the cause of secondary headache, it is necessary to know what the focal disease is. In other words, secondary headache can be caused by a simple infection or the presence of a tumor. Headaches during pregnancy are common, especially in the first trimester of pregnancy. It is recommended that expectant mothers who complain of headaches consume plenty of water and never take medication without consulting a physician.
What is good for headaches?
In the presence of headache, the person may be advised to drink plenty of water and take a shower. Compress can be applied to the head area with a wet cloth. Frequent ventilation of the environment can also help relieve headache complaints. People with headaches should not smoke or drink alcohol. Before taking medication for headache, a doctor should be consulted and medications that are effective according to the type of pain should be taken.
How to Get Rid of Headache?
If a doctor is consulted with a complaint of headache, the doctor first takes the patient’s anamnesis and performs an examination. When deemed necessary, diagnostic laboratory tests and radiological imaging examinations may be requested. In the light of the findings obtained, the type of headache is determined and diagnosed. Headache treatment is mostly done as medication. However, it may vary depending on the type of migraine, for example, if chronic migraine is diagnosed, botulinum toxin can also be applied.
Botox application is a good option for patients who cannot benefit from drug treatment today, as it provides very good results in 6-8 out of every 10 patients. The application provides a relief period of up to 3 to 6 months.
In the presence of additional symptoms such as headache that has not been there before and occurs suddenly, the pain becomes increasingly severe, it does not respond to treatment and other neurological findings accompany the pain, blurred vision, numbness or weakness on one side of the body, confusion, fainting, slurred speech, and imbalance. Emergency services should be consulted without wasting time. Such accompanying findings suggest that there may be another neurological disease underlying the headache. If you have a headache complaint, you can have your health checked by contacting the nearest health institution.