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Important Facts about Headaches

The pain that can come from a headache can be excruciating and can impact our daily lives dramatically.

Knowing the root cause of our pain can help us decide if we need to make a lifestyle change or if the condition is serious enough to see a doctor.

There are two types of headaches:primary and secondary.

Primary headaches are not a result of a disease and are mainly a result of a chemical activity (involving blood vessels or nerves) or your muscles (in your neck or head).

The type of lifestyle you have can be a direct result of the headaches you are experiencing. Some of these factors include:

  • alcohol
  • poor posture
  • sleep patterns
  • stress
  • skipped meals

 Three common primary headaches are:

Cluster Headache- although a rare type of headache, these are known as one of the most painful type of headaches. They often occur in the middle of the night and can be felt around one eye, on either side of your head.

Migraine- this type of headache has an intense throbbing sensation that occurs in one area of the head. Symptoms that accompany a migraine include nausea, vomiting and sensitivity to light.

Tension Headache- this is the most common type of headache. The pain intensity can range from mild to moderate and feels like a tightness around your head. Many times a change in lifestyle (eating healthy) can be the first step in treating this type of headache.

Secondary Headaches are a result of a disease that causes symptoms of a headache to be present. These symptoms can vary based on the severity of the disease and your conditions.

Some causes of secondary headaches can include (but are not limited to):

  • Brain aneurysm
  • brain tumor
  • concussion
  • dehydration
  • hangover
  • glaucoma
  • influenza
  • stroke
  • panic attack
  • meningitis


When should you see a doctor?

Whenever you feel that your headache symptoms are occurring more often than usual, are more painful, or prevent you from functioning in your daily life, it is important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Although some of these symptoms listed may or may not occur, all differ based on each individual.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms below, associated with a headache, it is vital that you get to a hospital as soon as possible, as this may be the cause of a serious condition.

These symptoms include: 

  • Confusion or trouble speaking
  • Fainting
  • High fever
  • Numbness or paralysis on one side of your body
  • Stiff neck
  • Trouble walking
  • Vision problems


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