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Coping with Common Types of Headaches

Coping with Common Types of Headaches

Preventing and Treating Sinus Headaches


Sinus headache affects a huge amount of the population.  This is a headache caused by sinuses that are congested with mucus.  This could be because of a cold, the flu, or allergies.  Sinus headache is especially troublesome for people who have problems with sinus infections.


The sinuses in the head are open areas where fluid can drain.  Unfortunately, if you suffer from allergies or have another kind of upper respiratory infection, the sinuses can become very full of fluid.  This fluid can become thicker and may be difficult for your body to expel when you blow your nose.


The pressure that builds up in your sinuses can cause pain.  You can have pain basically anywhere you have sinuses.  People who have severe sinus infections may have pain when they even touch their face.  Sinus headache can also be paired with pain and pressure in the teeth because there is a sinus cavity just above the mouth.


Suffering from sinus pain is miserable.  But there are a few things you can do to minimize the symptoms and get better fast.  For many people taking an over the counter medication for pain relief as well as a decongestant can help to reduce pain.  It will also help you to clear your sinuses.  Decongestants and expectorants together will help to thin the mucus and allow you to expel it from your head. 


You can prevent problems by making sure to use decongestants, take steamy showers, or use spicy food to help you keep your sinuses clear at the first sign of congestion.  But in some cases, sinuses become extremely blocked and you may develop a sinus infection.  In this case you'll need to see a doctor to get a prescription for antibiotics.  These are drugs that will help to kill the infection and help you get better fast.


Another method for reducing sinus pressure is to cleanse the sinuses.  Many drugstores carry netty pots or other kinds of systems that help to clean the sinuses.  With these you use a warm water solution of salt and baking soda to clean your sinuses.  To do this, you pour water into one nostril and let it flow out from the other side.  After you've done this, you'll be able to blow your nose gently and expel mucus.  This may not sound too pretty, but you'll be amazed by how much relief it will bring to your sinus headache.


Understanding Migraine Headaches


When it comes to headaches, migraine headaches are in a class all their own.  If you've been diagnosed with migraine headaches, you already know how painful and debilitating they can be.  And if you're suffering from extreme headaches that are more than just a little head pain, you may need to talk to your doctor about migraine headaches.


Migraine headaches are also called vascular headaches.  They're different from a standard tension headache because they're caused by the blood vessels in your brain.  Blood vessels will constrict in your brain and then suddenly they will dilate, or expand. 


When that happens, blood rushes to your head and you have an extreme headache that also has symptoms such as sensitivity to light and sound, nausea and vomiting, and visual disturbances.  People who have extreme cases of migraine may also have symptoms such as speech and language difficulties. 


Some people have one headache and then don't experience another one for some time.  But for others, migraines can be even more painful because they come in clusters.  That means you have several headaches in a short period of time.


The causes for migraines can be dietary, hormonal, stress related, and also occur for unknown reasons.  For some people, migraines can be prevented by simply avoiding certain foods such as aged cheeses and meats containing nitrates such as hot dogs and deli meats.   For others, no exact cause can be found.  But for those people, there is hope for a more productive, pain-free life with treatment.


There are several medications designed to fight migraine headache pain.  Some of those medications are taken daily to prevent the onset of a headache.  These are generally prescribed to people who have migraine headaches frequently.  If you suffer from them only occasionally, you can take medication that's designed to constrict the blood vessels and keep the headache from coming on.  These medications are prescription only and tend to be quite expensive.  However, they are worth the cost if migraine headaches are causing you to miss work and lowering your quality of life.


Migraine headaches can interfere with your life.  Most people who suffer from migraine pain find that they can't participate in their normal, daily activities when they are in the middle of a headache.  However, if you suffer from severe headaches, you need to see your doctor.  A healthcare provider can prescribe medication that will improve your life and allow you to live without this terrible pain.


Understanding and Treating Cluster Headaches


Many people have heard the term cluster headaches, but don't really understand what that means.  But those who suffer from cluster headaches experience the most painful and debilitating headaches possible.  These headaches are more common in men, but women can get them.


Cluster headaches are characterized by a sudden onset of pain.  They come on very quickly.  The pain usually occurs in the area of the eye on one side of the head.  In addition to pain, your eye and nose on the side where you feel pain may also be come irritated and red.  You may also experience a watery eye or runny nose. 


Most cluster headaches last about 45 minutes to an hour and a half.  They also occur in a pattern called a cluster.  You may have a headache at the same time every day for a week or even a month.  This is called a cluster period.  Then you may have times when you don't experience headaches.  This is called remission.


As you can imagine, cluster headaches can become extremely painful.  But they can also be very stressful because of the chronic nature of the problem.  Having chronic pain can lead to other problems such as depression.  If you suffer from these headaches, it's critical that you seek professional help.  A healthcare provider can diagnose your headaches and help you to treat them properly.


There are several forms of treatment for cluster headaches that often include prescribed medications.  Some medications will help to prevent headaches and others are used to treat them once they begin.  In many cases, people are prescribed more than one medication in order to get control of this problem.


Cluster headaches aren't understood very well in terms of their cause.  They're not related other diseases or disorders of the brain.  Some people experience them as a result of medication, smoking, and problems with sleep.  Still others suffer from cluster headaches as a result of a problem with the hypothalamus gland. 


If you suffer from cluster headaches, you need to seek treatment immediately.  Your healthcare provider can rule out other things that may mask as cluster headaches.  But once other causes for your pain have been ruled out, you can begin a program to help decrease the frequency and duration of your headaches. 


It's also important to have a regular routine, get enough sleep, avoid smoking, and avoid alcohol during cluster periods as these things can increase your symptoms.


Tackling Tension Headaches


Tension headache is one of the most common ailments that people face.  They are headaches that are caused by tension in the muscles of the head, heck, and upper back.  This muscle tension pulls on the body at inappropriate places and causes pain.  While tension headaches aren't life threatening and are very common, they can still decrease your quality of life.


There's a wide range of tension headache symptoms.  For some people tension headaches bring mild head and neck pain.  But for others, tension headaches can be very painful and even cause a feeling of nausea.  Having a tension headache can often lead to days off of work and limited social engagements.  When you have a severe headache the last thing you want to do is go out on the town.  And you may even suffer in your family when you don't have the energy you need to get things done.


If you suffer from regular tension headache, there are many options for you.  Many people will feel much better just by taking over the counter pain relievers.  In that case, you don't have too much to worry about.  But for some people these drugs aren't enough to make a dent in the pain.


You may also go to your healthcare provider to get a prescription drug that helps to relax the muscles that are the cause of your pain.  These drugs tend to be very effective and can bring relief to a tired headache sufferer.  They work quickly and have very few side effects. 


But in addition to drugs, you need to look at your lifestyle and try to prevent the headaches in the first place.  Are you moving at too frantic of a pace in your life?  Is there stress all around you? You may need to slow down and reduce the amount of stress so that you don't have the muscle tension that causes pain.


You can also reduce tension headaches by practicing stretching and relaxation exercises daily.  Doing this can help reduce the tension in your muscles and relieve or even prevent tension headaches.  Regular massage can also help to reduce the tension in your neck and shoulders.


While you're looking at your lifestyle, don't forget to sit up straight and tall. This old-fashioned advice helps to improve posture and relieve tension on muscles. If you use a computer, make sure your keyboard and monitor are at the correct height for your body.  Get up and stretch at regular intervals to give your muscles a break.  Tension headaches can be very painful, but they don't have to control your life. 


Dealing With Headache Pain So You Can Live Your Life


Headache pain is often so debilitating that you miss work and miss out on activities that make up your life.  But there are ways to deal with headache pain so that you can live your life and enjoy it.  It helps to determine what kind of headache pain you have first.  Headaches are not all the same and shouldn't be treated as all the same. 


If you have pain above your eyes, under your eyes, or above your teeth, you may be suffering from sinus headache. This is a headache that occurs when your sinuses become congested and begin to develop pressure.  This pressure can often be very painful.  When you apply external pressure to your forehead or other areas of your face, you may feel some relief. 


Sinus pain can be treated with over-the-counter medications for pain relief, but the best way to get rid of it for good is to treat your congestion.  Taking a steamy shower or placing a hot washcloth on your face can help you to loosen mucus and get it out of your head.  You can also try eating spicy foods.  Medications such as pseudoephedrine can help to relieve congestion and you may also need to treat allergies to keep mucus from developing in the first place.


Tension headache is another type of headache brought on by muscle tension in your head, neck, shoulders, and back.  These can also be treated with pain relievers.  In severe cases you may require prescription strength muscle relaxers to relieve tension.  But you can also prevent tension headache by practicing meditation and stretching to relieve muscle tension.  This won't cost money and has no adverse side effects.


The most severe type of headache pain comes from migraine headaches.  These headaches are caused by constriction of blood vessels in the brain.  They have major side effects such as severe pain, nausea, vomiting, visual disturbances, and speech difficulties.  These headaches also make you very sensitive to light and sound.  If you suffer from migraines you need to see a healthcare provider. 


He or she can help you to determine the appropriate medication for your type of migraine.  You can also learn what may be triggering your headaches and avoid those triggers.  When you get treatment for migraine headache, you'll find that you'll have more quality of life.


Any headache pain can make you feel miserable.  Finding out what type you have and treating it appropriate is the best way to live pain-free.

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