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What Causes Headache?


Headaches are one of the common medical complaints.  All most all people experience a headache at some point in their life. The people could be anyone regardless of age, race, and gender. According to The World Health Organization (WHO), almost half of all adults globally will experience a headache in any given year. A headache can be an indication of stress, emotional distress, or it can due to a medical disorder like a migraine, high blood pressureanxiety, or depression. People suffering from chronic migraine headaches may have a hard time to attend in their work or school regularly. A headache can be in any part of the head, on both sides of the head, or in just one position.


There could be the different causes of headaches. In this regard, The International Headache Society (IHS) has categorized headaches as primary and secondary.

Primary headaches

People used to have Primary headaches due to problems in blood vessels, muscles, nerves of the head, neck and sometimes changes in chemical activity in the brain.  It is caused directly by the overactivity or the problems in the head that are pain-sensitive.  The general primary headaches are migraines, cluster headaches, and tensions.

Secondary headaches

When people get Secondary headaches it indicates the symptoms of another condition which rouses the pain-sensitive nerves of the brain. The wide range of diverse factors can cause secondary headaches. The cause of Secondary headaches includes alcohol-induced hangover, brain tumor, blood clots, bleeding in or around the brain, “brain freeze,” or ice-cream headaches, carbon monoxide poisoning, concussion, dehydration, and glaucoma, teeth-grinding at night, influenza, overuse of pain medication, panic attacks, and stroke.

So the secondary headache is the symptom of a serious condition and hence it is very essential to seek medical advice if they develop further severe, regular, or persistent.


types of a headache are as follows.

  1. Tension headaches:-

    a Tension headache is the most common form of a primary headache. it normally starts gradually in the middle of the day.

  2. Migraines

a headache due to a migraine may be pulsating, throbbing pain generally on one side of the head. The pain may be accompanied by blurred vision, light-headedness, and nausea. It is the second most common form of a primary headache

  1. Rebound headaches

This type of headaches stems due to an excessive use of medication to treat headache symptoms. It is the most common cause of secondary headaches. The character of this type of headaches is that it generally began early in the day and continue all over the day. In case of a Rebound headache, people may have neck pain, restlessness, a feeling of nasal congestion and reduced sleep quality

  1. Cluster headaches

This type of headaches generally lasts for 15 minutes to a couple of hours. It occurs suddenly once per day up to eight times per day for a period of weeks to months. People with a type of headache may have no headache symptoms. It is known as the headache-free period and this could last for months to years. The character of cluster headaches is: one-sided, severe, and is this is typically sited in or around one eye and The affected area may become red and swollen.

  1. Thunderclap headaches

People having this type of headache will have sudden and severe headaches. This is the type of a headache is called the worst headache. One may have the headache of extreme intensity in less than one minute and it remains longer than 5 minutes. This type of headache is the secondary type of headache and it is life-threatening conditions. The symptom of this type of headache is intracerebral hemorrhage, cerebral venous thrombosis, ruptured or unruptured aneurysms, reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome (RVS), meningitis, and pituitary apoplexy. People who get this type of headache are suggested to have an immediate medical evaluation.

Sinus headaches.

People having <

u>Acute sinusitis can have  pain over the forehead, particularly around the nose and eyes

Ice cream headaches.

Some people may have a sharp and sudden headache when they eat anything cold however the pain remains for a minute. In this case, it is suggested for eating slowly and warming the cold food at the front of your mouth before you swallow it.

When to worry about a headache

Though a headache is common and one should not take it seriously but in some cases, the headache has to be given immediate attention and needs prompt medical care. Here are some warning signs of a headache when one should worry about headaches:

  • the first development of Headaches after the age 50
  • change in the pattern of headaches
  • An abnormal severe headache
  • the increase of Head pain with coughing or movement
  • personality or mental function Changes due to a headache
  • fever, stiff neck, confusion, decreased alertness or memory, or neurological symptoms such as visual disturbances, slurred speech, weakness, numbness, or seizures due to Headaches
  • painful red eye due to Headaches
  • Headaches caused by the blow in the head
  • patients with cancer or impaired immune systems Headaches


To diagnose a headache type a doctor follows the description of the condition, the type of pain, and the timing and attack pattern. If found complex nature of a headache the doctor prescribes many kinds of test like blood tests, X-rays and brain scans, such as CT and MRI


Rest and pain relief medication are the common treatment of headaches .doctors usually prescribe preventative medication, such as tricyclic antidepressantsserotonin receptor agonists, anti-epileptic drugs, and beta-blockers. In some extreme cases, a short hospital stay may be needed to manage withdrawal safely and effectively.

Traditional methods of headache treatments

Through the use of herbs and by several traditional ways a headache is treated and they are effective too, however one should consult the experts regarding their headache. Some of the traditional methods are acupuncture, cognitive behavior therapy, herbal and nutritional health products, hypnosis and meditation

It has been found that in some cases a headache may occur due to the deficiency of a particular nutrient or nutrients, particularly magnesium and B vitamins. It occurs due to the poor quality diet, malabsorption issues, or other medical conditions.

  • Applying heat pack or ice pack to the head or neck, however, extreme temperatures have to be avoided.
  • Following methods to avoid stressors
  • taking care to maintain blood sugar.



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