You’ve probably experienced more than one headache in your life – from the mild pain of a tension headache to the full-blown agony of a migraine. In fact, over 150 categories have been established but it isn’t always clear what causes a headache.
The cost of medication sold and time missed from work due to headaches has been estimated to cost around $50 billion a year.
That’s enough to make your head hurt.
In the rush of your day, you might be in such a hurry that you take a couple of pills and keep going, hoping the pain will go away. However, if the cause of your headache is examined carefully, you may be able to prevent them before they start.
The Most Common Headaches
- Sinus Headaches – This common headache is usually associated with colds, flu’s, and chilly winter months. The pressure in your sinus cavity builds slowly and your head begins to throb. Bending over can make your head feel even worse. Fortunately, once the infection passes, the headache fades.Sometimes a sinus headache is not what it seems to be. People may mistake migraine headaches or allergy symptoms for sinus headaches. If you get them regularly but are not experiencing the other signs of a sinus infection – such as a stuffy nose and nasal discharge – you should consider consulting your doctor.
- Migraine Headaches – Approximately 45 million people in America suffer from migraine headaches. There are many different types but they share two things in common: they hurt and they drastically disrupt your daily life.Status migrainosus headaches can last for days. Ocular migraines can render you temporarily blind. Cluster headaches come in waves. Sensitivity to light, sound, and a nausea similar to motion sickness are a few of the symptoms that cannot be ignored.
The root cause of most migraines is the temporal artery located at the base of the brain. During a headache, this artery enlarges, releasing chemicals from the nerve fibers around it. Triggers for this are thought to be stress or allergens in the air or environment.
Scientists are making great strides in the treatment of this form of debilitating headache and your doctor may be able to suggest far more options than there were even a few years ago.
- Tension Headaches – If you have children, worry about bills, have to commute back and forth to work, or perform any other form of activity that aggravates or frustrates, you’ve probably experienced a tension headache.Researchers estimate that almost 80% of the population gets these headaches. It often begins in the forehead. You may feel it in the back of your head and neck. Throbbing may result if it goes on too long. Stress and muscle tension are thought to be the primary causes for these headaches and women are more likely to have them.
Take a few minutes from your schedule for a short walk. Looking away from your computer, closing your eyes, and lightly meditating has shown great promise in the relief of tension headaches
- Dental Headaches – Has your head ever hurt so bad it made you want to grind your teeth? It turns out that grinding your teeth actually make your head hurt. Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorder is defined as problems with the muscles and joints connecting your jaw to your skull. This can lead to facial pain and headaches. The cause of TMJ can be bad posture, poor jaw alignment, or even stress.Grinding your teeth in your sleep, known as Bruxism, can also lead to headaches and jaw soreness or stiffness when you wake up.
If you think you have either of these conditions, talk to your dentist. They can confirm diagnosis and develop a course of treatment. This may include exercises, hot or cold packs, or possibly a bite guard to use when you sleep.
- Orgasm Headaches – From TMJ to TMI. The old joke involves using a headache to get out of sex, however for a small group of people, sex itself is the cause of headache, with the pain beginning during the initiation of sex and reaching its peak at orgasm.Found to occur roughly three times as frequently in men as in women, a study conducted by the University of Munster in Germany believes that it may be related to the flooding of adrenaline into the body.
Drug treatments are available, so if you get this type of headache, don’t worry! There is hope.
There are as many types of headaches as there are causes for headaches. Allergies play a surprisingly large role in triggering them. They affect our daily lives, cause us to miss work, they can even affect our sex life.
However, by getting regular exercise, eating a diet of balanced nutrition, and talking to your doctor about foods or situations that tend to trigger headaches, you can be more knowledgeable about headaches and your body as a whole.
You may not be able to completely avoid headaches, but they will no longer control your life.