Headaches: Most people have headaches sometimes and it can sometimes be quite uncomfortable. But, most painkillers are short-lived.
The headaches are usually temporary and go away on their own. However, if the pain is worrisome, do not hesitate to consult your doctor. A doctor should check for any type of acute, recurrent or fever-related headache.
When are headaches severe?
Not every headache requires medical intervention. Sometimes headaches are caused by missing a meal or muscle tension and can be taken care of at home. Another headache is a sign that something is serious and seeks immediate medical attention. If you experience the following symptoms of a headache, you should seek emergency medical treatment:
Severe, sudden headaches that come on quickly and are not explained and are sometimes described as “the worst headache of my life”.
Headaches associated with fainting, confusion, changes in your vision or other weaknesses of the body.
Headache with a sore throat and fever.
If you experience the following symptoms of a headache, you should seek emergency medical treatment:
A headache that wakes you up from sleep.
Unexplained changes in the type of headache or behavior.
If you are not clear about the type of headache you have, it is advisable to see your doctor for medical care.
Stress, migraines and clusters are the types of headaches. Migraines and cluster headaches are types of vascular-related headaches. Physical fatigue pain is exacerbated in vascular-related headaches. The blood vessels in the tissues around the head become swollen or enlarged causing your head to throb with pain. Migraines are the most common type of vascular headache and occur more commonly than cluster headaches.
Cluster headaches usually strike in rapid succession and last for weeks or months. Cluster headaches are more common in men and can be extremely painful.
Most headaches do not occur in severe cases and can usually be treated with a prescription drug without a doctor’s prescription. Migraines and other types of severe headaches may require prescription treatment and supervision by a doctor.
Tension or muscle contraction headaches are the most common type of headache and they are most often associated with periods of increasing stress.
The pain associated with tension headaches is mostly constant and excruciating and can be felt in the forehead, groin and back of the neck.
People often describe tension headaches as if they have a tight belt around their head.
Headaches caused by stress can last a long time, although they usually go away after the stressful period is over.
Stress-related headaches are not usually associated with other symptoms, and migraine headaches do not have the same pre-existing condition as headaches. Tension headaches account for about 90 percent of total headaches.
Sinus headaches can be the result of a sinus infection or an allergy. Sinus headaches that often occur after a cold or flu are caused by inflammation of the sinus passages (air cavities) behind and above your nose. Increasing pressure on the sinuses as they fill or become infected can cause headaches. The pain is usually intense and persistent and starts in the morning and increases when you bend.
Symptoms of headaches caused by common sinuses:
Pain and soreness around your eyes, cheeks and forehead
Feeling of pain in the upper teeth
Fever and cold
Swelling on the face
Both heat and ice are commonly used to relieve facial pain in sinus headaches.
Migraine headaches vary from person to person, but are usually expressed by severe pain on one or both sides of the head, as well as other symptoms often associated with it. Other symptoms may include nausea and vomiting, mild sensitivity and vision changes, dizziness, fever, and chills.
Common symptoms of migraine
Changes in vision before pain
Mild to severe throbbing pain on one side of the head
Nausea or vomiting
Sensitivity to light and noise
Migraines can be caused by many factors. Factors may vary from person to person. Some people react to certain foods, such as wine, chocolate, stale cheese, processed meats, and caffeine. Caffeine and alcohol can also cause migraine pain.
Note: If you have frequent severe headaches, take note of your symptoms, the severity of the headache, and how you cope with the pain. Show this record to your doctor.