How to Handle Cluster, Migraine, and Tension-Type Headaches
A lesser-known fact? There are about 150 types of headaches, and finding the right kind of treatment for the headache is essential for abatement of pain. Among the 150 types, the most common headaches and treatment forms are as follows:
Afflicting about 12 percent of Americans, migraines make themselves known through pulsing pain. The throbbing or pulsing pain is caused by the nerve fibers within the blood vessels of the brain becoming active.
Migraines occur more frequently in women than in men and there is some evidence to suggest that migraines may be genetic. Other evidence suggests that if you have preexisting medical conditions, you may be more susceptible.
There are various recommended ways to treat migraines. The most common forms of migraine medication are divided into preventive treatments and acute treatments. Acute treatments include medicine you should take as soon as the first symptoms appear. Preventive treatments decrease the possibility of migraine attacks. All medication for headaches should be monitored by your family doctor, as some treatments cause side effects. Havinga basic understanding of the complexities of medication dispensation will help you receive the care you need.
- Tension headaches.
A tension headache, also known as a muscle contraction headache, is a common affliction. Often caused by mental or emotional stress that can trigger the muscles in one’s neck, face, and head to contract. Other causes of tension headaches include depression and anxiety, as well as sleep debt, poor diet habits, etc.
Sufferers often complain of a pain around their head, on all sides, as if a belt were constricting it. These types of headaches, however, are often short-lived. And the pain is alleviated once the source of distress or problem that has caused it has been resolved. For example, if the tension headache was a result of too little sleep, sleep should be a priority. Is the pain a result of emotional distress? An effort to calm oneself and engage in emotionally stabilizing activities should help alleviate the pain.
- Cluster headaches.
In a recent CNN report, cluster headaches were reported by medical experts to be the most painful of all the headache types. While not as common as tension headaches, they are the second most common and routinely effect 1 in 1000 people.
Headache attacks due to cluster headaches cause acute pain that often hits just one side of a person’s head. The pain will build quickly and can cause the sufferer to have a runny nose and endure swelling and redness in one eye. The specific cause of cluster headache episodes varies from individual to individual. But some have reported attacks triggered by alcohol or by smelling strong smells. Some patients reveal that cluster headaches run in the family. Treatments include oxygen dosages and inhaling a certain type of local anesthetic to help cope with symptoms.
- Chronic headaches.
Headache sufferers who report daily headaches may be afflicted with chronic headaches. When the span of daily headaches reaches 15 days a month, the headache may be classified as chronic. The pain type is similar to a tension headache and is often triggered by the same causes for tension headaches. Within this class of headache are two headache types that sufferers are often diagnosed with:
- NDPH stands for New Daily Persistent Headache. Sufferers feel constant pain that ranges from severe to mild. The daily headaches may occur for months and sometimes years. NDPH is more common in women and sometimes follows trauma, medication use, or other destabilizing condition.
- A hemicrania headache is marked by pain that always occurs in the same spot in the face or head. Some symptoms are like those from a cluster headache. Severe symptoms include vomiting and sensitivity to light. Medication for this type of headache can help provide some relief from the worst of the symptoms.
Finding the right kind of treatment for the type of headache you have may take time. Partner with your doctor to find the most effective and long-lasting solution. Look toward making healthier choices overall in your sleep, diet, and exercise habits. Research the various methods that have worked for others. Headaches are a personal affliction with varying causes. You may find a new method to cope as you listen to others’ experiences.