Why Does My Head Hurt?

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Any number of factors can cause head pain, commonly known as headaches. These factors can include sudden changes in weather, new medications, tight hairbands, stress, and much more. Headaches can come out of nowhere and greatly hinder your daily activities due to the pain it causes to your head, neck, and eyes.

 

Types of Headaches

The most common types of headaches include migraine, tension, cluster, exertional and hypnic.

Other headaches might be caused by medication overuse, sinuses, caffeine deprivation, menstrual cycles, head injuries, and dehydration.

 

What is a Migraine?

Perhaps the most painful type of headache is the migraine. According to the American Migraine Foundation, migraines affect one-tenth of the U.S. population. A migraine is an unprovoked headache lasting four to 72 hours that is severe enough to disrupt a person’s routine and ability to do daily activities. Migraines are often accompanied by nausea, fatigue, blurry vision, throbbing pain on one or both side of the head, severe sensitivity to light and sound, and in extreme cases, vomiting.

American Family Physician names two major types of migraines: classic and common. The classic migraine starts with an aura, a mental sensation that may cause you to see flashing lights and colors or prevent peripheral vision. This sensation could last from 15 to 30 minutes and is usually accompanied by pain on one or both sides of your head. Classic migraines may cause you to feel upset, irritable and restless. This type of migraine may also have cause a prickly or burning feeling which causes one side of your body to feel weak.

The common migraine doesn’t include an aura, but may start slower and last longer than a classic migraine. The pain of a common migraine is usually only on one side of your head.

Prevention

Some migraines may be unavoidable, but medical professionals state that some may be prevented if you eat well, exercise regularly and get a good night’s rest.

Treatment

If you’re suffering from a migraine, try laying down in a dark, quiet room or putting a damp cloth on your forehead. Massaging your temples or scalp using pressure could also soften the pain.  

Over-the-counter drugs can help ease headaches, but if the pain is extreme, contact your doctor for a prescribed medicine.


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