Headaches and Migraines Treatment
Today’s world is full of stress and anxiety, so it is no wonder that millions of people experience some type of headache every day. From the annoyance of a tension headache to the disability migraines can impose on some sufferers, headaches are one of America’s most common health issues.
There are several causes for a headache. Some are minor and do not require treatment, while others can indicate a serious underlying condition that could be life-threatening. Headaches can be the result of stress or emotional distress. High blood pressure, anxiety and depression can also cause headaches. Migraine headaches can completely disable a person for a time.
Headaches are categorized as primary or secondary by the International Headache Society (IHS). Primary headaches are not caused by some other condition. They are the result of overactivity or problems with pain-sensitive structures in the head. A problem with blood vessels, muscles or nerves in the head or neck can lead to a primary headache. Changes in the chemical activity of the brain can also cause primary headaches. Common primary headaches include migraines, tension headaches and cluster headaches.
Secondary headaches are the result of another condition that stimulates the pain-sensitive nerves in the head. These headaches can be attributed to causes such as:
- Alcohol-induced hangover
- Brain tumor
- Blood clots
- “Brain freeze,” brought on by ice or ice cream
- Carbon monoxide poisoning
- Grinding or clenching teeth
This list is not exhaustive, and as you can see, some causes are minor or temporary and others are quite serious. Treatment for the headache depends on the cause.
When to See Your Doctor
Most headaches can be treated with over-the-counter pain relievers. When you have a headache with other symptoms, you should call 9-1-1 or make an appointment to see your doctor. Symptoms requiring an emergency call include severe headache with:
- Fever higher than 102 F
- Stiff neck
- Numbness, weakness or paralysis on one side of the body
- Trouble with speaking, walking or vision
- Unexplained nausea or vomiting
Schedule a visit to your doctor if you have headaches that are increasing in frequency or are more severe than usual. If your headaches are impacting your daily activities, not responding to your usual medication or you are unable to control them, contact your doctor for help.
Dr. Michael can help you gain control over your headaches. Schedule a visit for an exam and start getting relief from your headache pain.