Headaches: Causes, Risks & Treatments

Headache

Headaches is your body’s way of telling you that something is not right either with your heart or with your brain. However, most times in our environment, we just abuse painkillers like paracetamol or panadol and continue our activities without finding out what is causing that headache.
Yeah, I know, there is no money & it is not this common headache that would be taking you to the hospital.

However, you should not call all headaches common. Here, let me tell you the type of things that can cause you to have headache.

Table of Content

Headache can be caused by just stress or an underlying medical disorder. Image credit

Causes of Headaches

A headache can be a sign of emotional distress or just stress, or it can be due to an underlying medical disorder. The causes may be divided into:

  • Primary (benign): e.g. migraine, tension headache, cluster head-
    ache, thunderclap headache (p. 639).
  • – Secondary: e.g.
  • Tumors: headaches can be the sign of various growths & tumors in the brain. It us important to investigate.
  • Medication overuse: abuse of some drugs can lead to headache.
  • Intracerebral bleed: due to a rupture of a vessel in your brain.
  • Infection: of brain tissue can cause inflammatory reactions which can cause the aches. Examples are meningitis.
  • Hypertension: headaches can be the only symptom in patients with high blood pressure.

What type of Headaches should i worry about?

  • You should have it in mind that a headache which just starts suddenly without any form of trauma or hitting your head somewhere is not a good sign, and should be checked immediately at the hospital for possible causes such as subarachnoid haemorrhage or hypertension.
    In the cases of headaches due to meningitis, the person would also have some other symptoms like rashes.
  • Headaches that starts over hours to days is much less likely to be a cause of worry.
    It is important to know whether the headache is constant, or if it comes & goes (like that of migraine).
  • if there is any additional visual problems, nausea/vomiting or fear of light or sound, weight loss or fever may suggest a more cancer or meningitis.
  • Headaches that have been present for months or years usually worry patients yet are almost never problematic, whereas new-onset headache, especially in the elderly, is more of a concern.

What to do if I have a headache

Rest: Most times, a simple rest would be enough to resolve your headache, which could be due to stress.
See a doctor: a simple visit to the hospital & some investigation done would help to ensure that the cause of the headache is identified & also know the best therapy if medication or surgery.
Drugs: this should only be prescribed by a doctor, after other possible causes of dangerous headaches have been ruled out.
Never take drugs without doctors prescription. It could lead to development of liver diseases.

Surgery: this is only in the cases of growths or tumors in the brain.

Let us continue to create the health awareness.

Authors

  • Obasi Chinedu David attended the College of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, in ituku-ozalla, Enugu state, Nigeria.

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