Friday, July 6, 2012

Singapore - DIY diagnosis of headaches and how to cure them

They can hit us any time and cause anything from a minor annoyance to disruption in our daily life. Understanding the type of headache you have is the first step towards seeking the right treatment.

Here are four types to look out for:

Tension headache

This is the most common type of headache affecting two out of three people at least once in their lifetime.

They occur more frequently among women than men. Sufferers experience mild to moderate pain, often described as a tight band of pressure around the head.

Pain can also be felt at the back of the head and neck.

It used to be thought that these headaches were caused by a contraction of the muscles in the scalp and neck. But experts are now divided as to the exact cause.

The most common triggers are thought to be stress – emotional or physical, or fatigue.

Tension headaches have also been linked to depression. Besides pharmaceutical remedies, a way to cope with this type of headache is a change in lifestyle.

Exercise, yoga and other stress management techniques will help, saving you from having to reach for the medicine cabinet too often.

Migraine headache

Affecting women at least three times more often than men, migraines can create moderate to severe pain.

It often begins as a dull ache before developing into a constant, throbbing pain that can last from a few hours to, in extreme cases, days.

It usually manifests as a pain in one side of the head.

Sufferers can experience a sensitivity to light and sound, or even nausea and vomiting.

It’s believed that genetics define who suffers from migraines, though causes have been listed as anything from hormonal changes to food and even changes in the weather.

Migraines are rarely treated properly.

Constant sufferers should make a record of the frequency of attacks and see a doctor about the right medication needed.

Cluster headache

This headache is not so common, but sufferers can experience the most severe pain.

During a cluster headache the sufferer will experience a headache every day for days, sometimes weeks, with the majority of attacks occurring at night.

The headache may suddenly disappear for a long time before returning without warning. It mainly affects men.

Sufferers experience a piercing pain behind one eye or at one side of the head.

They may also experience swelling, redness and watering of the affected eye. Other symptoms include restlessness.

An unhealthy lifestyle of drinking and smoking is considered to be a key trigger to the onset of cluster headaches, though experts are still unsure of its underlying cause.

If you experience cluster headaches, see a doctor to rule out any other disorders.

Sinus headache

This may accompany a sufferer’s sinusitis – an inflammation of the sinuses, the cavities in the skull.

It occurs as a deep, constant pain around the forehead, cheekbones and nose.

Sudden head movement will intensify the pain, as can lying down.

Other symptoms are mucus discharge, fever, swelling of the face or an ache in the upper teeth.

Sinus headaches can be treated with decongestants and antihistamines.

But a trip to the doctor is encouraged should the headache last longer than 10 days.

Source: Mayo Clinic

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