Headaches are an important public health issue that impact the lives of a significant of the world’s population, affecting patients with severe pain, nausea and sometimes visual impairment. Headaches can be caused by several pathological conditions. Figuring out what leads to the pain may require you to observe the environment, eating habits, daily routine, activities that spark headache discomfort.
About 95% of headaches are caused by such common conditions such as stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, hunger, dehydration, changes in estrogen level, or caffeine intake. Headache can be the initial symptom of a life-threatening condition such as bleeding, infection, or a tumor.
A headache can also be the only warning signal of high blood pressure (hypertension). In addition, certain medications — such as nitroglycerin, prescribed for a heart condition, and estrogen, prescribed for menopausal symptoms — are notorious causes of headache.
There are multiple causes to this symptom. While recording the patient’s history, the physician must take care to thoroughly investigate the following:
The patient suffering from a headache requires a complete examination of all organs, starting from a fundus oculi examination (an exam to visualize the innervation of the base of the eye), an examination of the nose and sinuses, arterial pressure, examinations of the liver and kidneys, a head CT scan, MRI, X-ray.
Common headache types include tension headaches, cluster headaches, rebound headaches, sinus headache, and migraine.
Seek immediate medical care if your headache:
Headaches are classified into three groups:
Primary Headaches include:
These headaches occur with a specific cause. These are headaches which are connected to another condition, the latter supposedly responsible for the headache.
Secondary headaches include:
Sinus headaches are usually associated with constant pain and tenderness over the affected sinus. You may feel pressure around eyes, cheeks and forehead. The mucosa of the nose swells, the patient secretes foul-smelling, colored mucous (nasal discharge).
Headaches are one of the most common health complaints, but most aren't serious and are easily treated. In many cases, you can treat your headaches at home with over-the-counter painkillers and lifestyle changes, such as getting more rest and drinking enough fluids.
Headaches are an important public health issue that impact the lives of a significant of the world’s population, affecting patients with severe pain, nausea and sometimes visual impairment. Common headache types include tension headaches, cluster headaches, rebound headaches, sinus headache, and migraine.
Vascular headaches refer to a group of headache conditions such as migraine headaches, cluster headaches and toxic headaches. Under this classification are usually headaches throbbing in character, pulsating and physical exertion increasing the pain.
A migraine is characterized as an intermittent pulsative pain on one side of the head. While migraine is a fairly common symptom, which affects women more so than men. The onset of migraines usually occurs in early adulthood, and rarely after 40 years of age. Migraines may be accompanied by symptoms such as; Photosensitivity, Enhanced sensitivity to sound, Nausea, Vomiting.
These headaches are usually felt in the back of the head (occipital region). Patients may experience also headaches when they undergo hypertension treatment. Some of the medications used to treat hypertension can cause headaches.
Intracranial hypertension (IH) is the medical name for a build-up of pressure around the brain. It can come on suddenly for example, as the result of a severe head injury, stroke, or brain abscess. One of the most common symptoms of intracranial hypertension is headache. The cause of intracranial hypertension is unknown.
Rebound Headaches are a type of headaches caused by long term use of analgesic agents. These analgesics may decrease the intensity of pain for a few hours. The rebound headache may feel like a dull, tension-type headache or a more severe migraine like headache.
Headaches due to Neuralgia or Neuritis are severe types of intermittent pain, which are localized in the area of the affected nerve. These conditions include trigeminal neuralgia and other conditions.
Morbus Horton is a vascular disease characterized by the inflammation of blood vessels. The intensity of pain is mild. The pain is located in the temporal region and the vessels in that area can be tender.
Many acute viral infections can cause headache as a response of the immune system combating the viral infection. Headache may be associated with viral infections that affect the upper respiratory tract (common cold), brain and its coverings (encephalitis and meningitis) or ear (otitis).
Usually this is a type of short, bursting, stabbing pain felt in the part of the head which bears the infected ear. The diagnosis is usually determined upon an examination of the ear by a specialist.
Headache due to Toxic Substances are headaches that may be caused by carbon monoxide poisoning, benzol, nitroglycerine, etc. This type of headache may also be experienced if the patient is suffering from conditions such as, kidney disease, diabetes, metabolic conditions, etc.
Following a lumbar puncture, the patient may develop a headache. This type of pain may be bearable, moderate or severe. It may spread from the head to the neck, and further down the patientÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s back. This type of pain is alleviated when the patient lies down, or puts their feet up.
This type of pain occurs during the night or early in the morning. The headache can be an early or late symptom of a brain tumor, depending from the location of the tumor. Most brain tumors are accompanied by neurological symptoms such as; seizures, personality change or weakness.
These headaches occur as a result of an inflammatory process, like for example Meningitis (inflammation of the meninges, lining layers of the brain) or due to another condition such as a sub-arachnoid hemorrhage. Diagnosis is confirmed via lumbar puncture.
These are types of headaches which occur more rarely. These are headaches caused by dental conditions. The pain is not throbbing nor is it intermittent.