How lifestyle affects headaches
If you suffer from regular headaches, you should monitor your habits. Discomfort can be due to fatigue, hunger, lack foo sleep, overexertion or stress. To relive the pain, you should change your daily routine by doing the following:
- Go to bed early – A person needs at least 8 hours of sleep for rest. But don’t sleep for more than 10 hours. In this case, the level of oxygen and sugar in the blood will decrease and cause headache.
- If you’re sitting on books, computers, or your work is about looking at small details, you ought to take a break every half an hour. Stand up, stretch, do not strain your eyes for at least a couple of minutes.
- Give up alcohol. It affects blood pressure and affects the condition of the blood vessels of the head.
Always try and avoid stressful situations and negative emotions. If the headache is not caused by disease, then these simple tips will help you avoid it.
To relive the pain you can take analgesics depending on the doctor’s prescription, take a snack, lie down and sleep for at least half an hour, ensure the room is well ventilated and perform a head massage.
When to go to the neurologist
Diseases that affect the nerve tissue and brain are quite few. Headaches can cause the following conditions:
- Neuralgia of the facial and trigeminal nerves – with it nerve fibres become pinched and inflamed, which will eventually cause a lot of pain.
- Neoplasms. Both benign and malignant tumours put pressure on the vessels and increase intracranial pressure. The head hurts only on the side where the tumour is located. The disease can be due to a general deterioration of the condition, fever, lethargy and fatigue.
If the causes of the headache are not clear, the neurologist will refer you to undergo an MRI or CT scan of the brain because these tests will quickly determine the cause of the pain. If the brain is in good condition a competent neurologist will be able to find the cause of pain and refer you to a more specialised doctor.
Heart and spine as cause of pain
The head can hurt because or conditions related to the heart and blood vessels. This is mostly common in the elderly but some diseases may also attack young people. Some of them are:
- High and low blood pressure. The head will begin to hurt when the weather changes and the blood pressure rises sharply. You will begin to feel dizzy and the eyes will darken. This is because of vascular tension and lack of oxygen in the brain.
- Vascular diseases. The pain here will last several hours and it will be felt around the eye and in some cases blood may come out of the nose.
- Sclerosis and vascular tightening of the eye usually come together with atherosclerosis and scoliosis. The brain will receive less oxygen because of the reduced vascular lumen. The head will begin to ache all over this region and at the back of the head and the temples.
- Stroke as result of thrombosis or ruptures of the vessels in the brain. The pain will be excruciating and the person will lose mobility in one side of the face or body and it will also cause poor vision. If you experience the initial symptoms of stroke, don’t hesitate to visit the doctor immediately.
The only way to detect pressure problems is to control your condition. A therapist will always need to measure the level of your pressure. However, vascular diseases can best be detected using MRI of the brain.
If you have a back problem, your head will hurt because of them. Curvature of posture, enlargement of bone tissue on the vertebrae, hernias and protrusions will lead to vascular tightening. Due to this, the brain will not be able to get enough oxygen and nutrients, resulting into pain, fatigue and drowsiness. This happens when you have gotten an injury, hernias and curvature of the cervical and upper part of the thorax.
Conditions of the spine are usually treated by a neurologist and orthopaedic surgeon. The doctor will pay special attention on the curvature of the back when performing the visual examination. To clarify the diagnosis, the doctor will prescribe an X-ray, MRI or CT scan of the damaged spine.
Headache after injuries and illnesses
Pain can be due to two types of injuries, damage of the skull and the spine. There are various reasons for their discomfort such as:
- Traumatic brain injuries that form a haematoma which in creases intracranial pressure. It will clamp the vessels and parts near the brain. If the skull is damaged,, its shards can get inside and cause bleeding. The pain will come some time after injury. The eyes will begin to darken, you will experience dizziness and nausea. There will be pain all over the head but the site of injury will be very painful.
- For spinal injuries, there will be clamping of large vessels which will cause reduction in the supply of oxygen. If the neck is injured, the head will ache due to the intensity of the injury.
In both cases, you are required to see a doctor immediately so as to clarify the extent of the injury and the need to perform examinations such as X-ray or MRI.
Diseases can cause headaches both directly and indirectly:
- Severe infections can lead to inflammation of the brain structures, thinning of the walls of vessels and destruction of the brain membranes.
- Influenza, colds, sore throats and any other respiratory diseases alter breathing. And because of the less incoming air there will be reduced oxygen supply.
With such conditions, there is no need to see a neurologist if there are complaints of headache. Instead it is better to visit your doctor who will analyse the situation and prescribe the right treatment.
Are there other reasons that cause a headache all the time?
Headaches can be caused due to various other reasons such as:
- The drugs. In many drugs, pain is listed as a side effect.
- Hormonal failure. It can be as physiological (pregnancy, adolescence, menopause), and pathological (disturbance in the work of the thyroid gland, adrenal glands, ovaries). Hormones control our entire body, and when their concentrations change, our well-being will inevitably worsen.
- Mental illness and pathological conditions. In neuroses, panic attacks and depression, headaches are not uncommon. From the point of view of physiology they are also caused by hormones and oxygen reduction, but to get rid of pain, you will have to cope with mental ailments.
- Constant presence near allergens can cause headache due to nasal congestion (and therefore lack of oxygen) and changes in pressure.
- Constant presence near toxic substances causes breathing disorders and irritates mucous membranes.
There may be much rarer diseases such as multiple sclerosis or parasite infection which may lead to destruction of brain tissue.
During the first consultation the doctor will ask about anything that may have caused the pain. He may refer you to another specialist such as an endocrinologist, psychotherapist or allergist. The doctor will also be able to prescribe the right medications does not have any side effects. Diagnosis may also require the following examinations:
- MRI or CT scan of the brain
- MRI of the cervical spine
- Blood test for hormones
- General and biochemical blood test
- Samples for allergens
There are various causes of headaches but it may be difficult to identify them all. However, the methods used for diagnosis are very similar and you will not spend much time on examinations. No matter how many doctors you visit, the important thing is that eventually you will be relived from the headache.