Chronic Headache is one of the most irritating medical conditions that can really take a toll on the quality of your life. Constant severe headache is experienced in the condition but the pain may be dull and throbbing in many cases. Simply knowing that you have headache takes you nowhere near to the resolution of the problem, but surely does worsen your troubles whenever it occurs. You should never consider yourself helpless against the condition and should fight it everyway you can, starting with learning about your particular condition.
Types of Chronic Headache
You are probably reading this because you think you have Chronic Headache, or the headache that keeps on coming back from time to time and sometimes refuses to go away. Chronic Headache can be narrowed down to four major types.
The most common type of headache is Tension Headache. Tension Headache is named so because of its apparent connection to stress. This type of headache is regular and resurfaces from time to time and will continue for as little duration as half an hour and can even last a day. This type of headache can last for a long time and can significant stress and deterioration in your quality of life. This leads to further stress and even depression, which only prove to worsen the headache. In the United States, 4% of the population is estimated to suffer from Tension Headache, while no less than 80% get affected from occasional episodes. Tension Headache can be easily confused with migraine.
Tension Headache Symptoms
- Having headaches regularly for more than half a month for three months
- Absence of throbbing pain is the distinguishing factor.
- Pain with or without pressure on both sides of the head.
- Aches on the back of your neck and temples.
- Headaches are triggered by stress.
- Usually the headache is not severe.
Tension Headache Diagnosis & Treatment
While the symptoms of Tension Headache may seem pretty generic, physicians can narrow the condition down by interviewing the patients about their lifestyle. Physicians may even require you to note down its frequency on a journal. The most common treatment of Tension Headache is aspiring or other over the counter pain killers. However, the medicine may cause rebound headaches. Lifestyle changes are suggested for reducing the instances of Tension Headache such as reducing stress, getting adequate sleep and exercise, improving the sitting posture and reducing the use of computers for relieving the strain on the eyes. Those suffering from depression and anxiety should concentrate on the treatment of those serious conditions to avoid Tension Headache.
One of the most troubling chronic headache conditions is Migraine. Migraine is a chronic, constant severe headace that lasts anywhere from 4-5 hours to 2 days without any interruption. Migraine is recognized by its painful and throbbing type of headache. Migraine can cause some serious interference in the normal course of life for a person. The headache is recognized by taking a lot of toll on. Migraine is found to have genetic causes and is triggered by factors such as lack of sleep, poor eating habits, stress, change in routine, odors and a number of food items such as products containing Monosodium Glutamate, cheese, chocolate and red wine. A common condition, no less than an estimated 28 millions Americans suffer from it.
- Migraine is characterized by a throbbing and painful headache.
- Migraine usually affects only one side of the head.
- Moderate to severe headache.
- Migraine is worsened by certain stimulus factors such as noise and light.
- Signs of the onset of migraine such as seeing flashes of light and spots
- Tingling or numbing sensation in hands, feet or face at the onset
- Additional symptoms may include but not necessarily
Migraine Diagnosis & Treatment
Physicians diagnose migraine by interviewing the patient and focusing on the headache history and symptoms. The physicians may also look for other symptoms connected with chronic, constant severe headaches that can point towards other diseases and eliminate their possibility though diagnostic tests and scans if they consider appropriate.
Migraine patients are widely aware of the fact that there is no permanent cure available for the condition. However, there are a number of treatment methods that alleviate its rather unbearable symptoms. The medicine for migraine is largely divided into the functions of abortive and preventive drugs.
While over-the-counter painkillers such as ibuprofen can always be used for the treatment of migraine but stronger painkillers are prescribed when they fail to relieve the symptoms. Migraine patients are often prescribed a combination of aspiring, caffeine and acetaminophen for treating the symptoms more effectively. Apart from that, physicians can prescribe a number of non-prescription drugs such as Almotriptan and other combinations. Furthermore, drugs targeting separate symptoms can be recommended as well, while those targeting chemicals within the body such as serotonin are also used for the treatment. You should discuss your medical history, allergies and conditions with your physician before using any of these drugs.
Sinus Headache Symptoms
- Pressure on face and head.
- Dull to severe pain with a feeling of pressure.
- Pain worsening with sudden head movement.
- Mucus build-upNasal congestion and discharge
- Sore throat
- Pain worsens in the morning and gets better with time.
- Sensitivity to sudden temperature changes.
- Headache follows cold.
Sinus Headache Diagnosis & Treatment
Physicians can diagnosis through elimination by carrying out diagnostic tests such as CT scans. The treatment of Sinus Headaches concentrate on relieving the symptoms which includes using over-the-counter painkillers, using a nasal spray, using a humidifier, breathing in steam, nasal irrigation, relieving exercise and prescription allergy medicines. You should know about objects triggering the headaches, such as tobacco smoke and odors, and should avoid them.
Cluster Headache affects the patient over certain time periods and is pretty concentrated on only one particular side or area of the head. The headache is severe, often associated with eye pain and does not shift sides. Cluster Headache may cause great hindrance in the normal course of life of the patient. This type of chronic, constant severe headache can occur with the gaps ranging from weeks and months to even years. Cluster Headache is known to worsen with aging in the people who suffer from it. This is probably the rarest type of chronic headache. An estimated 0.1% of the population gets affected from this condition and men are two to three times more likely to have this condition than women. Stimulus such as season can trigger the headache by affecting the trigeminal nerve.
Cluster Headache Symptoms
- Cluster Headache occurs over a certain time period in “clusters” involving daily attacks.
- Concentrated on one side of the head or face with consistency.
- Concentrated around the eye and extending to forehead and temples.
- Severe and piercing headache which may or may not be throbbing. .
- Tenderness of the scalp.
- No association with nausea and vomiting.
- Onset of the condition involves signs such as nasal discharge, swelling of the eye, flushing of the face and light sensitivity.
Sinus Headache is caused by the blocking and inflammation of the sinus cavities. The sinus cavities surround your nose, cheeks and eyes. Sinus headaches are usually caused as an allergic reaction.
Stop enduring those chronic, constant severe headaches and take action today now that you have learned about what type may be affecting you.
Cluster Headache Diagnosis & Treatment
Easily diagnosable, Cluster Headache can occur with migraine. Medicines are used for the treatment, which are both abortive and preventive. Symptom alleviation is targeted with drugs such as Sumatriptan injections and Ergotamine drugs, apart from breathing through an oxygen mask for a little less than half an hour. Preventive medicines include Verapamil. If the medicine treatment fails, then surgery to block the trigeminal nerve is sometimes recommended. However, that should be the last resort and you should only consult physicians you rely on being experts for treating Cluster Headache.
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