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Why Your Head Hurts

Why Your Head Hurts

Interpreting Headache Symptoms


Almost everyone has experienced a headache at some point.  But the kind of symptoms you have may determine the type of headache you're experiencing.  It's important to understand your headache symptoms so that you can treat your headache appropriately and know when to seek help.


If you experience pain mixed with pressure and congestion, you may be experiencing sinus headaches.  These headaches can be very painful, but are not life threatening.  However, they can make you feel very miserable and you'll want to treat them.  If you have congestion for more than 7 days or you have thick, green colored mucus you'll need to see your healthcare provider to determine if you need prescription medication.


If you're experiencing pain around your head or in your neck, you may be experiencing tension headache.  People often describe this pain as a visor around the head.  It can be ongoing pain that last for days if the source of tension isn't relieved.  This can be treated with the counter medications and in some cases prescription medication.  You can also prevent this by practicing relaxation exercises and by stretching.


If you're experiencing pain on one side of your head that comes on fast and is very severe, you may have migraine headache.  These kinds of headache symptoms include severe pain on one side of the head, nausea, and sensitivity to light and sound.  In some cases, you may experience vomiting, visual disturbances such as flashes of light or loss of peripheral vision, and speech difficulties.


A migraine headache can be very scary and painful.  It can also disrupt your daily activities and force you to call in sick to work.  However, this type of headache is often very treatable.  You should see your healthcare provider if you have any of the symptoms of a migraine headache.


Some people have chronic problems with headaches that cause a lot of pain but don't have traditional headache symptoms.  In some cases physiological problems can cause headache symptoms.  If you're having unusual headache symptoms or chronic problems with headaches, you'll need to see a healthcare provider.  You may need to have further tests to rule out injuries or diseases that can cause headache.


If you suffer from headache symptoms, you know how much a headache can affect you.  There's no need to suffer in silence.  See a healthcare provider for diagnosis and treatment so you can get back to your daily routine.


Understanding Headache Causes


Many people suffer needlessly with chronic headache.  They may not understand the headache causes that could be contributing to the problem.  However, ignoring the problem won't make it go away.  It's important to do everything you can to understand the causes.


There are several ways to pinpoint the causes of your headache.  The first is to become self-aware. It's important to keep track of when you have headaches and what was going on at the time.  For example, were you eating a specific food, suffering from allergies, or experiencing stress?  This could be an indicator that you have a specific thing triggering your headache.


You may also notice that you have headaches in specific patterns.  For example, you may have headaches during the same part of your menstrual cycle each month.  Or you may find that you have headaches during the work week, but not on less stressful weekends.  You may find that on nights you don't get enough sleep, you have a headache the following day. In addition, you may notice that headaches occur at the same time every day for a period of time.


All you need is some paper and a pen to keep track of headaches.  This is the first step toward understanding headache causes.  You can use this information to talk with your healthcare provider about your pain.  When you make an appointment with your doctor, make sure to bring this information.  He or she will appreciate the extra help to diagnose the problem.


In addition to environmental factors, you may have headache causes that include injury or other health conditions.  When you go to your physician, he or she may run some simple tests to determine if there's another underlying cause for your headache. For example, your neck or back may not be aligned properly. You could also have a muscle injury that's causing pain in your head.  Underlying sinus infections that can only be seen on x-rays could also be to blame.


Understanding headache causes can help you to get the right treatment.  It can also help you to have more peace of mind.  Many people put off dealing with headache pain because they're afraid of a serious problem.  But for most people, headaches are caused by minor problems that can be treated and aren't life threatening.  The stress of wondering what is wrong could actually cause your headaches to get worse, especially if they're related to stress and tension.


With Added Pressure Headache Happens


Headaches can often be the result of every day pressures and stress.  But another kind of pressure can also cause headache - that of sinus pressure.  Sinuses can be the culprit if you're having chronic headaches.  But you may not recognize that your sinuses are the cause when you don't have other symptoms.


Many people have sinus problems and don't even know it.  The sinuses are spaces throughout your head that are open areas.  These areas are places where mucus can collect.  It can even become infected and clogged.  This is called sinusitis when sinuses are clogged up and painful.


Most people believe that sinus infections have to go hand in hand with other symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, runny nose, or stuffed up nose.  But sinus problems can occur even if you don't have those symptoms.  This is particularly true when you have problems with the maxillary sinus.


The maxillary sinus is just above your mouth.  It can become clogged up and cause painful toothaches and headaches with no other symptoms.  Often this problem is diagnosed by x-ray images that show the infection.  The good news is that when you have a pressure headache, sinus infections can be treated quite easily and very effectively.


A physician or other healthcare provider can prescribe decongestants and antibiotics to help alleviate the pressure and kill the infection.  Depending on the severity of your infection, the treatment can work in just a few days.  For more serious infections it may be a week or two before you have relief.


In the short-term you can take hot, steamy showers can help to move the fluid out of your head and loosen sinuses.  You can also use cleansing systems that use saline to clean the sinuses. 


Pressure headache can be very painful and you may find that you're absolutely miserable as a result of the pain.  However, you don't have to live with this pain forever.  In fact, a quick trip to the doctor will help you to get rid of it.  You may also need to do things to prevent the headache from occurring again. 


To prevent pressure headaches you may want to take allergy medication on a regular basis. This keeps mucus from being overproduced and clogging your sinuses.  For some people who have problems with clogged sinuses, a decongestant may also need to be taken on a regular basis.  In addition, steamy showers and spicy food can help to keep your sinuses open.


What Headache Dizziness Could Mean


Having a headache is bad enough, but when it's mixed with other symptoms such as dizziness or vertigo, it can be even worse.  Many people feel very frightened to have a headache that causes feelings of dizziness, but it could be a symptom that will help you to diagnose the problem and get the proper treatment.


First it helps to define what dizziness means. The word "dizzy" describes actually two different feelings.  The first is vertigo and the other is light-headedness.  And it's important that you understand the difference so that your healthcare provider can correctly diagnose you.


If you feel like the room is spinning or moving around you (even when you know it isn't), this is vertigo.  Vertigo is the feeling that objects are moving around you when they are actually stationary.  This is different from light-headedness.  Light-headedness means that you feel faint or that you might pass out.  You may feel dizzy, but you don't feel like the room is moving or spinning.


Depending on which type of dizziness you have with your headache, it can mean different things.  You'll have to talk to your doctor to diagnose your specific problem.  However, here are a few things that can cause this phenomenon.


Vertigo can be the result of problems such as migraine headaches which cause sensory problems.  You may feel like you have a hard time walking or even fall.  You could also have problems in the inner ear such as a sinus infection coupled with an ear infection.  The ear infection causes balance problems while your headache is the result of sinus pressure.


Light-headedness can be the result of vascular problems such as blood pressure changes.  It can also be caused by fluid in the head from allergies or a cold or flu.  In addition, you may be dehydrated which can cause both a headache and dizziness.  Even stress and anxiety can cause these symptoms.


If you're feeling headache dizziness, you probably don't have something seriously wrong.  When you visit your doctor, you'll be able to determine what the exact cause of the problem is and be able to deal with it.  On occasion these symptoms can mean that something more serious is occurring.  Tests such as x-rays and MRIs can help to diagnose the issue.


Whatever you do, don't ignore the problem.  Getting help from your healthcare provider can help you to feel better and return to normal activity sooner.


Getting to the Bottom of Severe Headache Pain


If you suffer from frequent headaches, you may try to tough it out and just get through them.  But severe headache pain is something that can cause a huge decrease in quality of life.  Letting it go unchecked isn't the best way to handle the problem.  In fact, severe headache pain is an indicator that your body is out of balance.


If you're having severe headache pain, your body is telling you that something is wrong.  Pain is the body's way of sending a message to you.  You need to take notice when you're being affected by pain.  Severe headache pain can be an indicator that you need to deal with an underlying cause.


Before you get scared that your severe headache pain is life threatening, you should know that severe headache pain can be brought on my many things that are easy to treat and even prevent.  For example, migraine pain is extremely severe pain but it's not life threatening.  And in today's world, migraine pain is easier than ever to treat with advances in medication.


If you suffer from headaches due to sinus problems and pressure, you may be able to take antibiotics and/or decongestants to help relieve the sever headache pain you're experiencing.  The key is to find out what the root cause of the pain is so that you can target that cause and eliminate your painful headache.


For some people severe headache pain can simply be the result of a stressful lifestyle.  You may need to slow down and take better care of your body to avoid this type of headache.  In that case, it's time that you work to improve the lifestyle you lead.


No matter what, it's important to talk to a healthcare provider.  In rare, but serious cases severe headache pain is caused by disease or illness.  Your healthcare provider will probably order tests to determine if you have any abnormalities.  In addition, you may have an injury in your neck or back that's causing your headache pain. 


Don't let fear keep you from getting to the bottom of severe headache pain.  Understanding the cause can help you to get the treatment you need.  If you have to deal with headaches on an ongoing basis, you'll be glad you finally dealt with them.  You won't have any more days spent in bed or filled with stress caused by severe headache pain.  You can get back the quality of your life.

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