What is a headache?

Headache is a common condition, but it is usually not a serious illness. Although it is not a cause for concern, it can be quite painful and ruin our whole day.

There are many different causes of headache. The pain in different types of headache has different intensity, is localized in different places and has different duration.

Another important characteristic that helps to distinguish between types of headache is the quality of the pain itself, whether it is sharp, dull, constant, intermittent or we have the feeling that someone or something hits us on the head.

Additional symptoms that may be associated with the headache are:

  • Dizziness;
  • Tingling or weakness;
  • Changes in vision;
  • Difficulty maintaining balance;
  • Pain in the ear, eye or face;
  • Increased body temperature;
  • Cold sweat;
  • Oversensitivity to light or sound.

All of these factors help determine whether or not you need emergency treatment for your headache.

Headaches can affect anyone, regardless of race, gender, socioeconomic status, or age.

Stress and anxiety have been found to trigger headaches in some people. But for others, there may be no apparent reason for the headache.

The most common type of headache is known as a tension or stress-type headache, and the next most common type is called a migraine.

For the majority of people, the headache is of the first type – the stress or mixed type as a result of stress and migraine.

What are the symptoms of a headache?

With mild headache symptoms, the pain is usually mild and may feel like a slight pressure or tightness around the forehead or at the back of the head.

This is often the result of stress, fatigue or insufficient sleep.

Although these symptoms can be bothersome, they are rarely a cause for serious concern and can usually be relieved with simple measures such as rest, hydration and avoiding stress.

Types of headaches

Tension headache is the most common type of headache. It can occur as a result of tension in the muscles around the neck and head, which is often caused by long periods of stress or tension.

Some people can recognize an impending tension headache by specific signs, such as a feeling of tightness around the head or neck.

Although tension headaches are usually mild and temporary, they can become chronic for some people, occurring more than 15 days a month for a period of three months or longer.

Chronic tension headaches can be more difficult to control and usually require more complex treatment, which may include a combination of medications, stress management therapies, and lifestyle changes.

It is important to note that although tension headaches are the most common type of headache, there are many other types of headaches that can cause different symptoms.

For example, migraines are often accompanied by severe, throbbing pain, sensitivity to light, and dizziness.

Cluster headaches are rare but can be extremely painful.

They are characterized by intense, stabbing pain, usually around one eye, and usually occur in “clusters” or series of episodes over a period of time.

These headaches usually start suddenly and reach maximum intensity within 15 minutes.

Episodes can last from 15 minutes to 3 hours and may recur one to three times a day for several weeks or months before disappearing for a period of time.

How is a headache treated?

Treatment for a headache usually involves painkillers. A variety of anti-headache medications are available in the pharmacy network.

Pharmaceutical companies spend millions of EUR every year to advertise the “amazing” properties of their products.

However, many of the “special” headache preparations are not as effective as simple paracetamol, ibuprofen or aspirin.

In addition, stress reduction and more frequent rest are highly recommended for headaches.

Despite the relatively safe pain relievers available on the market, they all have potential side effects and improper use can lead to serious consequences.

Always read the leaflet and follow the recommended dose.

Even over-the-counter pain relievers can be dangerous if they are not taken correctly or if they are taken for a headache that is caused by another illness such as a hemorrhage or stroke.

Potential side effects can occur in case of overdose, incorrect use, also in case of cross-reactions when taking other medications – for example, blood thinners.

They may also have toxic effects on various organs, especially the liver.

Paracetamol is a safe and effective remedy for all kinds of pain, including headaches. But it is contraindicated to take paracetamol together with sleeping pills.

Also, when taking paracetamol against headache, the use of alcohol should be avoided. Paracetamol is also not recommended for people with liver diseases such as cirrhosis and hepatitis.

Headache can be caused by many factors and manifest in different ways.

It is important to learn to recognize the symptoms and know when to seek medical help.

Remember that proper stress management, a healthy diet and regular exercise are key factors in preventing headaches.

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