If you experience a particularly severe headache, you may instantly think of that it’s the most awful thing. Being someone who experiences headaches often, I’ll confess that I’ve panicked, researched my symptoms, and swiftly diagnosed myself with a life-threatening issue, but I just needed to take a drink of water. Because although headaches can be unpleasant (and sometimes, even scary depending on how severe you experience them) however, they’re usually not reason to be concerned. In reality, headaches are often triggered by common things like hormonal fluctuations or dehydrationand not a underlying issue.
There are moments when you’re uncertain about whether the pain that you’re feeling is normal. POPSUGAR spoke to a neurologist on the most frequent types of headaches and when you should be concerned that your headaches could indicate some more significant issue.
The Most Common Headaches
Thomas Berk, MD, medical director at Neura Health, notes that tension headaches are the type of headache that sufferers most often. The pain that is associated with tension headaches is moderate to mild and can be described as having the sensation of tightness over the forehead. Tension headaches tend to be caused by muscle tension, dehydration and stress According the Dr. Berk.
He says migraine headaches are not uncommon with a prevalence of one-in-six American adults. Although migraines tend to be a family affair but most sufferers of migraines can discern specific triggers for their headaches and migraines, such as hormone changes, sleep disturbances and stress levels that are too high. The pain of migraines is much greater than tension headaches that typically involve an intense pain that throbs across the forehead that is accompanied by symptoms such as nausea vomiting, nausea, and the sensitivity to light. If you’ve never experienced a migraine in the past, this may be extremely frightening and confusing.
Another kind of headache is called a cluster headache, which is a series of attacks that can last for long durations, usually lasting between four and six weeks. Doctor. Berk explains that cluster headaches typically are single-sided and last from between 15 minutes and three hours in a row. Signs of cluster headaches may include tearing of the eyelids, drooping eyelids or sinus congestion. They can also cause running nose and facial flushing. The burning or piercing discomfort that comes with headaches that are cluster headaches can be extremely painful. Yet, “most people who experience cluster headaches don’t have an related condition,” Dr. Berk states. “Rarely it is the case that cluster headaches may be due to the pituitary gland.”
Although both cluster and migraine headaches can be a source of anxiety however, they’re not a medical emergency and can be treated at home or in an annual checkup with your primary care doctor or a neurologist. If you find that your headaches disrupt your daily life, it’s crucial to discuss treatment options with a physician. “There are many alternatives for people suffering from headaches. They range from relaxing techniques and supplements to injections and medications,” Dr. Berk suggests.
Why is it important to worry about Headaches
While the majority of headaches do not have a connection to a specific condition strokes, head diseases, brain tumors and brain trauma all have similar symptoms to headaches. This is why specialists such as Dr. Berk use a mnemonic device to differentiate the common headaches from headaches that might be an indication for something much more serious. SNOOP was developed through The American Headache Society, is used to detect headaches that may be warning signs. If you’re suffering from any of the symptoms listed below the doctor. Berk recommends seeking medical treatment right away.
- Systemic symptoms: Have been sick or do you suffer from other medical issues, like cancer, or HIV? A headache that is associated with a variety of symptoms may indicate that your health condition is getting worse.
- “N”eurological symptoms Are you also experiencing weakness, tingling, numbness or loss of vision, difficulty speaking, or any other neurological problems you’ve never previously experienced? A headache that is accompanied by these symptoms could be an indication of an emergency medical situation, for instance, stroke.
- Onset: Did the headache become worse in moments, much like thunderclaps? This sudden onset is often related to stroke or brainbleed.
- Older Are you experiencing frequent, new headaches at the age of 50? People who are older tend to suffer from giant cell arteritis. It’s a blood vessel disease that affects the brain’s arteries as per the American College of Rheumatology.
- Pregnancy and changes in posture and previous headaches Do you have an additional headache during pregnancy? Does it get better or worse when you’re standing or lying down? Does this differ from previously experienced headaches? If you’ve had headaches previously but the headaches that you’re experiencing right now are more severe, it’s time to consult a doctor.
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