Basic Science

What causes Headaches?

Hey kids, today I am going to take you on a very interesting and knowledgeable tour where we will get to know about headaches. So are you ready for this amazing tour? Well what are we waiting for lets go and dive in the ocean of knowledge.

Well we all know that headaches are a very common and general issue. We all experience it at times as if like our head is throbbing or as someone or something is hitting our head very hard. Well it causes a lot of pain and irritation but did you ever think that how and why it is caused? But before we go any further I have a very interesting story to tell you about headache and its cure in ancient times.

In ancient Greece, headaches were considered as very powerful afflictions and victims which we nowadays term as patients prayed for relief to their god of medicine, who they believe hear to their prayers and they get rid of their pain. But if their prayer goes unheard then a medical practitioner perform the best known remedy and that is to drill a small hole in the skull to drain out the infected blood. This technique was called trepanation. Is not that scary and horrible? Thank god nowadays we don’t treat headaches like that.

Headaches are classified into many different types. The most basic classification is: –

  1. Primary headache
  2. Secondary headache

Primary headache are not those that are any kind of symptoms of any injury or condition. They themselves are a condition.

Secondary headaches are those which are considered as a symptom of certain kind of disease or injury. Secondary headaches are triggered by other health problems such dehydration, caffeine withdrawal, certain injury on head or heart problems.

Doctors have discovered over 100 types of headaches that can be cured. 90% of headaches categorize as primary and only 10% of them account as secondary. Primary headaches are majorly of three types: migraine, cluster and tension.

Migraine headaches is basically the throbbing of head with very large intensity which can last from one hour to three days. Generally it is felt on one side of the head. Patients suffering from migraine are very sensitive towards light, odor and sound and migraine becomes worst with lots of physical activities which is then followed by nausea and vomiting.

Cluster headaches can be regarded as sudden and severe attacks of pain on side off head, specifically and intensely in the area around eye. The duration of cluster headaches is from five minutes to three hours and they may occur once in a while. One kind of cluster headache is when is occur in periods and between those periods there is an interval in which the person does not experience any kind of headache whereas the other kind of headache is the one which lasts longer than usual and there are no headache free breaks.

Tension headaches are those that can be regarded as general headache without any physical or neurological abnormality. The duration of these kind of headache is few hours and 80% of such headache takes less than a days to get over. But these tension headaches can cause soreness in forehead, neck or shoulder muscles and these are regarded as trigger areas.

Secondary headaches are caused by certain physical or mental disease or disorder. It may or may not be permanent depending on the intensity of disorder. Some headaches are of so much intensity that they can make people feel that it is better to die than to bear this pain. It evokes suicidal tendencies in an individual.

Some major causes of secondary headaches are: –

Brain tumors: – headaches due to brain tumor are caused mostly at night and are generally followed by vomiting. It increases with time and even gets worst if a person does something that increases the pressure inside the head.

Sinus infections: – sinus can be termed as the fluid buildup inside the sinus cavity caused by either a bacterial infection or a virus infection. It results in irritation, severe headache. Sinus also results from allergic reactions from dust, smoke, animal fur etc.

Stroke: – headaches also arise from several conditions that can lead to stroke or we can also say that some headache are caused due to stroke. Some other reasons of headaches are high blood pressure or heart diseases.

Some headaches are caused by any kind of physical injury in head or around it whereas some others are caused by certain psychological factors or patient’s life history such as family issues, work load, stress, restlessness, anxiety and what not. Many people consider headache as a general issue for which one should not be bothered but that’s not true. If you are experiencing headaches for a while, then just don’t ignore it. You should refer to a doctor for further examination or advice before it gets severe.

So with this we arrive at the end of our tour. Hope you have learnt sufficiently in this tour about headache and its causes and consequences.

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Ishika Sharma

I'm a student of computer science engineering with big data and analytics specialization. Currently living in Chandigarh. I love to read and write in my free time .

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