While headaches may seem like an ordinary occurrence, they can sometimes be a sign of much larger and more significant problems. Depending on the type of headache you have and why it is caused, your doctor will discuss medical and non-medical treatment options.
Types of Headaches
- Migraines: Migraines can run in the family. These headaches are often described as pounding, throbbing pains. They can last from 4 to 72 hours and usually happen 1 to 4 times per month. Other symptoms of migraine headaches include: sensitivity to light, noise or smells, nausea or vomiting, loss of appetite, and upset stomach pain. When a child has a migraine, he or she feels dizzy, looks pale, has blurry vision, fever, and an upset stomach.
- Tension headaches: Tension headaches are also called stress headaches, chronic non-progressive headaches, or chronic daily headaches. Tension headaches are very common in adolescents, teenagers, and adults. These are only semi-frequent and carry mild to a moderate amount of pain.
- Cluster headaches: These are intense and feel like a burning or piercing pain behind the eyes, either constant or throbbing. It is the least common but the most severe type of headache. Episodic cluster headaches are defined as those that occur in periods (clusters) lasting from 7 days to 1 year. Clusters are separated by headache-free intervals lasting at least 2 weeks. Clusters usually last 2 weeks to 3 months.
- Sinus headaches: One feels a deep and constant pain in your cheekbones, forehead, or bridge of the nose with sinus headaches. These happen when your sinuses are inflamed. Sometimes these headaches are accompanied by fever, swelling in the face, and congestion.
- Rebound headaches: These are caused by regular, long-term use of medication to treat headaches. Pain medications can offer relief for some headaches, but taking them more than a couple of days per week may trigger rebound headaches.
If the headache seems at all unusual, you should seek the advice of a medical professional. While sometimes they may require a medical solution, other times the medical professional will instruct you to cease an activity that might be causing you to have the headache, or remove a certain food or drink from your diet, or other type of home-based remedies.
Sometimes certain foods or drinks can cause headaches. Common food and drinks that cause headaches can include:
- Food Additives (such as MSG)
- Certain dairy products
Usually the answer for when a headache is caused by a food or drink is to simply remove the item from your diet. A medical professional will provide a better idea if it is a food or drink causing your headache.
Post-concussion Syndrome occurs after the afflicted has suffered a concussion. Symptoms such as dizziness and headaches can last for weeks, even years, after the brain injury happened. If you suffered a concussion and are still having symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.